HC Deb 05 February 1973 vol 850 cc2-3
2. Mr. Rowlands

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many new council houses were completed in 1972.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

There were 3,502 out of 4,135 public sector completions.

Mr. Rowlands

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that is one of the most shameful and disgraceful figures in housing? Will he confirm that it is the lowest figure for local authority housing since 1946? Instead of sitting in the safety of Hereford will he get up and say what he intends to do to build houses to rent? Does he realise that many hon. Members who serve Welsh constituencies know of the growing housing problems faced by their constituents?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

We must deal with the housing problem as a whole. If we take the total of public and private sector housing and add to it those houses which have been modernised by improvement grants—[Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite did not laugh at improvement grants when they were helping their figures. If we add those houses which have been modernised by improvement grants in the public and private sector, the total in 1968 was 26,189 while in 1972 it was over 41,000.

Mr. Cledwyn Hughes

Is the Minister aware that houses now being built in the private sector in Wales cost anything between £7,000 and £12,000 to buy? Can he tell us how a young married couple can expect to purchase such a house?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

The number of houses in the private sector has gone up by leaps and bounds. The demand is obvious.