§ Mr. SITCH
asked the Minister of Health whether any provision exists under which owners of house property are able to reserve any of their houses in an empty condition for selected potential tenants, whose failure to take possession may result in the premises standing empty for considerable periods; and whether he can see his way, in view of the extreme scarcity of dwellings, to require all owners to let the same within a reasonable time or to show cause for failure so to do?
§ Major ASTOR
I am not aware of any provision in the existing law which deals with the matter to which the hon. Member refers in the first part of the question, but I may point out that under the Housing Act local authorities have power to purchase houses which might be made suitable as houses for the working classes, and would thus be able to secure that available accommodation of this nature is adequately used.