§ Mr. Stokes
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the hardships inflicted on some people by the Slum Clearance Act, hardships which are particularly numerous in Ipswich where the original owners have in many cases sold their property to working-class people often through building societies; whether he would be prepared in cases where the owners of slum property are poor people, who are owner-occupiers or dependent for their whole livelihood on the income derived therefore, to allow local authorities to make ex-gratia payments by way of compensation on 1412W grounds of hardship over and above the legal site value?
§ Mr. Elliot:
The basis on which payment should be made by local authorities acquiring houses unfit for human habitation under the slum clearance procedure was decided many years ago and Parliament has since frequently debated and confirmed the decision, that the proper basis is site value only. I cannot, therefore, adopt the suggestion in the latter part of the question. Provision was, however, included in the Housing Act, 1935, to enable me to direct local authorities to make special payments to owner-occupiers and others in cases in which unfit houses have, notwithstanding their sanitary defects, been well maintained, and this power has been exercised in a considerable number of cases in Ipswich.