HC Deb 15 November 1965 vol 720 cc667-8
24. Mr. Channon

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what esti- mates his Department has received of the number of private houses likely to be started in 1966.

Mr. Boyden

Amongst builders building on their own initiative, the last Ministry inquiry revealed that in 1966 they would start about the same number as in 1964. Assuming a similar pattern amongst builders building for clients, the number would be between 230,000 and 240,000.

Mr. Channon

Would not the Parliamentary Secretary agree that after all the Government's boasting about the housing programme, it is rather sad that in 1966, after two years have gone by, they will be building no more private houses than in 1964? And what does he intend to do about it?

Mr. Boyden

The whole matter is being very carefully discussed. I have no doubt at all that when the final results emerge they will be very satisfactory.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Of the private houses mentioned in the Question, will the Minister say how many are likely to be built in 1966 in Scotland, and in which parts of Scotland? Will he issue a statement on that subject?

Mr. Boyden

I hesitate to rush in on Scotland without adequate notice.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether failure to increase the number of houses privately built is deliberate or inadvertent?

Mr. Boyden

More houses will be built this year than were built under the previous Administration.