HC Deb 01 February 1971 vol 810 cc1231-2
15. Mr. Gower

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with building societies, local authorities and other agencies in Wales to expedite the growth of home ownership; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Thomas

The Government have a number of possible ways of en- couraging the growth of home ownership under examination but I am not in a position to make a statement today.

Mr. Gower

Will my right hon. and learned Friend take account of the fact there would appear to be in different parts of Wales a somewhat patchwork proportion of private and public housing? In view of the desirability of making home ownership available on an ever-increasing scale, will my right hon. and learned Friend look at this question with some urgency?

Mr. Peter Thomas

Yes, Sir. I think that this is a very important matter. A range of ideas is being considered, and a statement will be made in due course. It is interesting that Wales is primarily a country of owner-occupiers, with 55 per cent. of houses being owner-occupied.

Mr. Kinnock

Whatever the desirability of owner-occupation in Wales or anywhere else, does the right hon. and learned Gentleman recognise that with the new regional policy of this Government, with Wales being overtaken by a flood of redundancies, with its being in general a low wage area, and with poverty-stricken local authorities not being helped by the Government, this is hardly likely to give any meaning to the Tory Party's commitment to increase owner-occupation?

Mr. Peter Thomas

I cannot agree with what the hon. Gentleman has said.