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Aluminium Houses, Leven

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1949

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Stewart asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action he has taken, in pursuance of his undertaking to the hon. Member for East Fife, to make immediate inquiries into the unsatisfactory conditions of the aluminium houses in Leven and the ill effects of damp upon the health of the tenants as confirmed by the medical officer of health.

I regret that there was some delay in arranging a local inspection of these houses. A joint inspection by representatives of the Department of Health, Ministry of Supply and the Town Council took place yesterday and I will write to the hon. Member immediately I receive the report.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say why it has taken five weeks, since the assurance was given to me that an immediate inquiry would take place? Will he bear in mind that the local medical officer of health has condemned these houses as unfit for human occupation?

First of all, the responsibility is that of the local authority. My Department are very anxious to help, but we had to bring in another Department of the Government responsible for the supply of these houses. I have no doubt they can be put right. We had some of this trouble about two years ago. It was all put right. The Departments have scientific knowledge, and I think it would be wrong to condemn the houses.