Skip to main content


Volume 441: debated on Tuesday 29 July 1947

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how the housing achievements of Perth compared with the housing achievements of other large Scots cities since the end of the war; if he is aware that the Perth first target figures are expected to be reached during this year; and if he will do anything to organise similar achievements in other cities.

I would refer the hon. Member to the appendix to the Housing Return published each month, which gives details of the progress made by individual housing authorities. I am sure that local authorities generally are anxious to expedite the completion of houses, and it is the aim of the 1947 programme formulated by the Government to assist them to complete the largest possible number this year.

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider giving an answer to the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) about the excellent work that is being done in housing in Perth, that great Tory strong hold in Scotland?

My difficulty, as one responsible for the working of all the local authorities in Scotland, is to see that I do not give too much praise to one for fear that I fall out with some of the others.


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether local authorities whose housing progress includes houses at first-floor level are prohibited from finishing these this winter; whether compensation will be paid for deterioration; and if he will make a statement.

I would refer to the answers given to similar questions by the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Sir B. Neven-Spence) on 8th July, and the hon. Members for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) and Montrose Burghs (Mr. Maclay) on 15th July. Local authorities are not prohibited from finishing any houses, at whatever stage of construction, if labour and materials are available. It is the aim of the 1947 housing programme to complete the largest possible number of houses this year.

Does my right hon. Friend give preference to cities like Perth as against burghs like Coatbridge, where housing conditions are very much more appalling?

No. I can assure my hon. Friend that I have no "step-children." I do my best to see that fairness is done by all the local authorities in Scotland.

Is not the Minister aware that these local authorities were encouraged to go ahead with big housing programmes, and that those housing programmes were cut; will he not reconsider the question of meeting the financial losses which these local authorities have incurred as a consequence of having to maintain these expenses; and does he not know of resolutions which have been passed by many local authorities in regard to this matter?

Will the right hon. Gentleman see that the materials in short supply are issued in accordance with a priority which agrees with the date on which the original building licence was granted?

Is not my right hon. Friend aware that there are a number of buildings which have been built right up to the eaves by the Glasgow Corporation, but which have been stopped for lack of materials and are, therefore, bound to deteriorate; and are they to get no compensation for that deterioration?


asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of houses completed in Scotland by local authorities in the inter-war years, and the number completed by private enterprise for sale and to let.

The number of houses completed in the inter-war years by local authorities was 227,295. The number completed by private enterprise was 109,878, of which 8,207 were built for letting with assistance under the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1924. No precise information is available, but it is thought that the majority of the balance of private enterprise houses were built for sale.

In view of those figures and the constant reiteration by certain people that we should engage private enterprise again, will my right hon. Friend see that each Member of the Opposition has two copies of that reply?

I have always believed that if private enterprise had made a success of dealing with Scotland's housing problem, the Secretary of State for Scotland would not have half as many troubles as he has at the present time.

Will the right hon. Gentleman look again into the rating problem in Scotland in order that private enterprise may have a fair deal?