asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that many local authorities within the Greater London area have decided to reduce their area population below that of 1939 by refusing to allow the rebuilding of houses on many bombed sites so that they may secure more open spaces and less overcrowding; that this, coupled with the establishment of a green belt round London, will result in difficulty in securing suitable housing sites inside the green belt; and what steps he is proposing to take to meet the housing needs of people who must live further out from London as a consequence of this policy?
I am aware of the views in this sense which have been expressed by certain local authorities and planning authorities. As regards any necessary rehousing, I have already asked local authorities to submit proposals for immediate post-war programmes and I am discussing with them the difficulties thrown up by those programmes. I shall be ready to consider with them as soon as possible their long-term programmes and the problems which they raise. In all these matters I am keeping in close touch with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Town and Country Planning.