LORD BALFOUR OF BURLEIGH
My Lords, I beg to ask His Majesty's Government whether, in order to secure full information as to the existence of overcrowding, steps will be taken to distinguish in the Census of 1931 between houses of four rooms and houses of five rooms; and also whether distinction can then also be drawn between rooms used for living and those used for sleeping purposes.
§ LORD ARNOLD
My Lords, before I give a reply to the Question I should like to be allowed to thank the noble Lord for his consideration in putting down a starred Question, in view of the congestion of business this week. I hope he will not think that he is being ill-requited because the reply is brief. Although brief, it is not merely formal, but means what it says. The whole question of the particulars to be asked for in connection with the Census of 1931 will receive the careful consideration of His Majesty's Government at an early date, with a view to seeing how far changes should be made in them so as to enlarge the general information available as to the housing conditions of the people. My noble friend will appreciate that it must inevitably be a case of balancing the demand for very various information against the undesirability of overloading the Census paper. The Government recognise the importance of obtaining through the Census as complete information as possible with regard 270 to overcrowding, and I can assure my noble friend that the particular suggestions he has made will be very fully examined.