HC Deb 16 December 1970 vol 808 cc1345-6
42. Mr. David Stoddart

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to provide that people will not be debarred from remaining or becoming tenants of council houses on grounds of income.

Mr. Amery

No, Sir.

Mr. D. Stoddart

That answer was expected, but will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind, and advise those of his hon. Friends who have been saying that they will flush out rich tenants of council houses, that that would be an anti-social act? Will he now give an assurance that tenants will not be discriminated against on any ground at all?

Mr. Amery

I am not aware that authorities do evict tenants in such circumstances. Councils are generally extremely reluctant to terminate tenancies other than in most exceptional circumstances.

Captain W. Elliot

Does my right hon. Friend agree that, originally, council houses were provided for people in the lower income scale, and ought not that to be considered?

Mr. Amery

My hon. and gallant Friend is quite right.

Mr. Marsh

Would not the Minister agree that the supplementary question asked by his hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Carshalton (Captain W. Elliot) is typical of a mind deeply embedded in a bygone age? Would he also agree that today no one believes that council estates should be single-class areas which are based purely on lower income groups?

Mr. Amery

It is very agreeable and entertaining to find the right hon. Gentleman advocating subsidy for those who are well off.