§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will give figures, from 1945 to the latest available date, showing to what extent council house building rose or fell; what was the major cause of the decrease in council house building from 1951 to date; and what action he proposes to take to reverse this trend.
§ Mr. Crossman
The number of houses completed in 1951 by local authorities and new town corporations in England and Wales was 141,587. In 1953 the number was 202,891 and in 1963 97,015. Detailed figures from year to year are given in the Housing Returns which are Command Papers.
It is difficult to isolate a single major cause, but it is a fact that the decline in Council building since 1953 has been associated with a rise in building for sale. I have already said that where past policies have operated to the detriment of the people in most urgent need I will give local authorities every encouragement to redress the balance.