HC Deb 10 May 1973 vol 856 cc744-5
Q6. Mr. Wyn Roberts

asked the Prime Minister if the public speech of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to the Primrose League on 11th April on future environmental planning represents Government policy.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Roberts

In that speech the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry referred to Disraeli's Artisans and Labourers Dwellings Act, which was the first attempt by Disraeli to eliminate slums in this country. Does my right hon. Friend realise that when he, as Prime Minister, comes to mark the centenary of Disraeli's death in 1981, there will be hardly any slums left in this country, because of the Housing Finance Act, which is so much maligned by right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. That is the objective of the Government's policy, and it is the positive side of the Housing Finance Act.

Mr. Spearing

Concerning environmental planning, does the right hon. Gentleman recall that he could not give me an undertaking that any major Bill would be accompanied by a White Paper? Is he aware that Members of the Committee on the Maplin Development Bill are in great difficulties because they cannot talk about the Government's intentions for planning in south-east Essex? Will he now ensure that some sort of publication on those lines is made available to the House and the general public?

The Prime Minister

I am always prepared to consider this matter, but I could not give the hon. Gentleman an absolute assurance that this would happen in every case. There is no point in doing it where the information has already been made available.