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Clause5—(Increase Of Sums Available For Defraying Expenses Under 7 And 8, Geo 6, C 36)

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 12 April 1945

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Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

I think the Committee might rightly ask for an explanation of this Clause. It will be noticed that, under this Clause, we are increasing the amount of money by some £50,000,000. I think there is no one in this Committee who would object to that increase. I think it may be necessary, but I would like some explanation of how the Government are working out these increases. Might I also ask the right hon. Gentleman—who is only too willing to be charming and obliging to me, as always—if he can give the Committee some assurance on whether this amount is sufficient? It would be a pity if he had to come here and ask us to increase the amount in a short time. If I have that assurance, perhaps it might be possible for the right hon. Gentleman to have this Clause.

I hasten to reply to the hon. Gentleman. The purpose of the Clause is to provide the additional money necessary to finance the temporary housing programme, because that programme cost very much in excess of what was originally estimated. If the hon. Member wishes the Committee to penetrate into the reason why the temporary houses cost more than was estimated, I should be only too happy to do so, but I thought it was a subject from which hon. Members opposite would like to part as quickly as possible. If the Committee wish to examine this subject, I would find it quite delectable to do so.

I will not weary the Committee further, because the Committee might not think the subject was quite delectable, and the right hon. Gentleman might fall down again, as he has done once or twice before. For that reason, I thank him for his short explanation, which did not, however, cover the point whether he has got enough money for the future. I thank him very sincerely, and I am glad that, this time, he has not fallen down.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.