HC Deb 06 December 1967 vol 755 cc1416-7
7. Mr. James Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now report on the findings of the Scottish Housing Advisory Committee on the apparent high prices of houses in the private sector in Scotland.

Dr. Dickson Mabon

As the House was told earlier in the year, the Scottish Housing Advisory Committee made an initial investigation of some aspects of new house costs. To obtain further information my right hon. Friend has commissioned, with the agreement of the Committee, a study by the Department of Building of the Heriot-Watt University.

Mr. Hamilton

I realise that the report will be very comprehensive and that it will be some time before it is submitted to the House. Will my hon. Friend ask my right hon. Friend to deal with certain aspects when the report comes to him, bearing in mind that houses in Scotland cost more than they do down south?

Dr. Mabon

I expect that the whole study will take three years, but we hope to receive useful information while it is proceeding, and perhaps we can act on it.

Mr. G. Campbell

Will the Government take into account that such studies appear to be overtaken by events, because the price of houses in Scotland is now badly affected by devaluation?

Dr. Mabon

That is an exaggeration. It is true that houses in Scotland are more costly than in England for climatic reasons and because of building standards and other factors which are not yet defined. That is why we have asked the university to carry out this comprehensive study.

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