asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that licences granted to private builders for building new houses are often issued to cover several houses each; that in a number of cases where such a licence was issued to a builder outside the London area before 25th February, one or more of the houses included in the licence had been begun before that date while others in the same licence had not been started; that the consequent effect of the Order permitting an increase of ££100 in the maximum price of houses licensed before 25th February is to make such concessions inapplicable to these houses not yet started, without any power for the local authority to vary the conditions in the licence; and whether he will modify the terms of the Order to rectify this anomaly.
It is open to a private builder to ask the local authority to revoke a licence in so far as it applies to houses on which work has not been started, and to apply for a new licence in respect of these houses under the revised conditions.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his own Ministry refused a request of the Cheltenham authority to take action in this matter?
I am not aware of the particulars. If the hon. Member will send them to me, I shall have them inquired into. But I cannot, at the moment, accept the construction he has placed upon this.