HC Deb 03 August 1972 vol 842 cc944-5
12. Mr. McNamara

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the number of houses and flats both private and public now under construction; and how this compares with the previous five years.

Mr. Channon

On 30th June, 1972, 15,973 houses and flats were being built—10,291 by public authorities and 5,682 by private enterprise. This figure is a record for the same date in the previous five years.

Mr. McNamara

May I congratulate the Minister of State on those figures for Northern Ireland, as representing a great triumph for public enterprise building? Is he aware that we would like to see as good figures in this country? Can he say to what extent he has, through the Central Housing Executive, worked out plans for getting rid of the slums which still exist in Belfast and other cities, the Shankills, the Falls and places of that description, so that people may have decent houses?

Mr. Channon

I am sure that the hon. Member will be pleased to learn that this figure is a record for private enterprise building for the past five years, too. There are big plans for slum clearance in the cities in Northern Ireland and if the hon. Member would like further details I will get in touch with him.

Rev. Ian Paisley

Will the hon. Gentleman keep in mind those districts where there have been no troubles but where the housing conditions are deplorable, especially in certain rural districts? Does he understand that some of these communities feel deeply aggrieved because they have been overlooked in building? Can he also keep in mind not only the Falls Road and the Shankill Road but Sandy Row where some of the housing is in a very deplorable state indeed?

Mr. Channon

I will draw the attention of the Housing Executive to the hon. Gentleman's remarks.