§ Mr. GERALD HURST
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the urgency of increasing housing accommodation for women civil servants and writing-assistants employed at Acton, Kew, and West Kensington; whether he is aware of the rejection by the Public Works Loan Board of schemes submitted by the Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries for effecting this purpose by converting large houses into small fiats; whether such rejection was based on financial or other grounds; and if he will have the question reviewed?
§ Mr. SHORT
asked the Minister of Health whether a large number of women writing assistants are to be transferred from his Department to the buildings now occupied by the Pensions Ministry at Acton; whether he is aware that many of these women live in rooms which they removed into on account of obtaining employment in his Department, from which it will be very difficult to get to Acton; whether he is aware of the difficulty women writing assistants already employed in Acton have in finding local accommodation; and whether, under these circumstances, he will endeavour to induce the Acton Council to encourage the provision of housing accommodation for these women?
I am aware of the difficulties to which the hon. Members refer. I understand that the Public Works Loan Commissioners are advised that they have no power to lend money for a scheme of the kind submitted to them. Clause 5 of the Housing Bill will482W enable local authorities to advance money to persons proposing to build houses, including flats. I shall be willing to consider whether the Clause should be amended to enable local authorities also to make advances in cases of conversion such as the hon. Members have in mind.