§ Viscount WOLMER
asked the Minister of Health whether the type of cottage he has requested the Alton Rural District Council to build is estimated to cost £690, although the council has put forward a much cheaper design; whether he has informed the council that they are expected to charge an economic rent on two-thirds of the cost of the house, i.e., £460; and, if so, whether it is the policy of the Government that Hampshire labourers' cottages should be rented at 18s. a week?
§ Mr. J. PARKER
The Alton Rural District Council have not been requested to build cottages estimated to cost £690 in preference to others of a cheaper design. They have been informed that the types of cottages which were submitted by their own architects, and which were estimated to cost, approximately, £690 were types which the Ministry generally approved, but that if they submitted designs for a bungalow of a cheaper type these would be accepted, subject to certain modifications. The question of the rents to be charged in rural districts is one of special difficulty, and I have appointed a Committee of the Housing Advisory Council to report on this question. It would, of course, be impracticable to fix the initial rents for agricultural cottages on two-thirds of the present cost, and I have never suggested that this should be done either at Alton or elsewhere.