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Rural Workers

Volume 415: debated on Thursday 8 November 1945

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asked the Minister of Health how many letters he has received from rural district councils and other similar bodies protesting against the Government's decision to allow the Housing of Rural Workers Act to lapse.

:I have had a good number of letters on this subject on both sides. The general question of reconditioning rural cottages has been referred for advice to the Rural Housing Sub-Committee of my Central Housing Advisory Committee who have been asked to give special consideration to the availability of labour for reconditioning without prejudice to new building and to any improvements which can be made in the old scheme under the Housing (Rural Workers) Acts.

asked the Minister of Health whether instructions will be given for priority of tenancy to agricultural worked in all rural districts where a shortage of accommodation exists, and where houses are to be erected.

:Under the present law houses in respect of which the special agricultural subsidy is paid will be let to agricultural workers. As regards other houses, however, the first consideration in the selection of tenants must in my view be the relative need of the applicants for a house and I do not think it would be in the public interest for the Government to suggest that priority should be given to particular callings irrespective of the need. The question of future agricultural housing subsidies is under consideration.