HC Deb 31 July 1974 vol 878 cc790-1
17. Mr. Anthony Stodart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many applications in respect of hotels and boarding houses under the Fire Precautions (Loans) Order 1973 have been made to local authorities inside and outside the development area, respectively.

Mr. Hugh D. Brown

The administration of the Fire Precautions (Loans) Order is a matter for the local authorities and I regret that information on the total number of applications made in Scotland is not available. I understand that two applications have been received in respect of premises outside the development area.

Mr. Stodart

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that that does not seem very good progress in tackling something that has caused considerable alarm? Is he prepared to comment on the question whether the apparently very small number of applications being made outside the development area, namely, in Edinburgh, is caused by the exclusion of Edinburgh from the development area? Would this not be a good reason for giving Edinburgh full development area status?

Mr. Brown

The last point is not a question for me. I am sorry if the hon. Member has tried to leave the impression that this administration has been lax in its responsibilities. I intended to compliment the previous administration on introducing the order.

The fact that it has not been very effective is clearly a matter that should be pursued. Since the intention was to help small boarding-house keepers and the owners of small hotels with fewer than 25 beds. I thought that the whole House would be concerned to ensure that they were aware of the facilities for assistance now available.