HC Deb 16 December 1947 vol 445 cc323-4W
105 and 106. Mrs. Mann

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he is aware of the advance in prices of houses for sale which has taken place since the crisis, and to the increasing number of houses being offered, particularly smaller houses; and pending new legislation will he circularise all Scottish local authorities, with the advisability of speedier requisition of all such houses;

(2) if, in view of the extortionate prices of houses being offered for sale with vacant possession, which in view of the Morris Commission is worse in Scotland than in England, he will consider following the precedent set by a former Secretary of State, dealing with overcharging of furnished rooms, and introduce legislation to end the hardships now inflicted on Scotland.

Mr. Woodburn

The Government have fully considered the question of controlling the selling price of houses, in the light of the Morris Report, but the practical difficulties are such as to preclude effective legislative action. I am prepared, however, to authorise local authorities to requisition houses, including smaller houses, which are deliberately kept vacant for sale at high prices, and local authorities are taking substantial advantage of the speedier procedure, introduced in June, 1946, for taking possession of vacant houses for accommodation of families who are inadequately housed.