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Housing (Government Policy)

Volume 155: debated on Thursday 15 June 1922

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asked the Prime Minister whether the Cabinet have under consideration any new policy with regard to the provision of houses required to supply those needs which will be unsatisfied after the completion of the Government's curtailed building programme sanctioned under the Housing and Town Planning Act, 1919, and subsequent Acts; and, if so, how soon can it be put into operation?

I would refer the hon. Member to the speech made by me in introducing the Ministry of Health Estimates, which outlines much more fully than is possible in question and answer the policy of the Government.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in his speech he carefully refrained from answering the particular question which is here put down, and is the House not entitled to an answer to this definite question? Seeing that the Prime Minister is here, may I ask him what steps are being taken in the matter?

The hon. Member should put down that question. The Debate on the Ministry of Health Estimates was adjourned, and there is still an opportunity for the hon. Member to get an answer.

With all respect, Sir, on a point of Order. This is a definite question, and the right hon. Gentleman says he answered it in the course of the Debate. I submit to him there is no such answer in his speech, and I have read it most carefully, and it is because he did not answer that this question has been put down. Is not the House entitled to a reply?

I do not agree with the hon. Member. Either my speech is not fully reported, or he cannot have read it carefully. I made several suggestions in that speech. The hon. Member asked if any new policy was under consideration, and in my speech I made several suggestions.

On a point of Order. Regarding the transfer of question No. 28 from the Prime Minister to the Minister of Health. This is a definite question to the Prime Minister on a Cabinet decision affecting policy. Why cannot the Prime Minister reply for his own Cabinet on a matter of policy?

The Prime Minister has the right to transfer Departmental questions to the Minister at the head of a Department.

On a further point of Order. This is not a Departmental question, but a question of policy, addressed to the Prime Minister as the principal Minister in the Cabinet, and on policy it is the Prime Minister's duty to face his own questions.