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Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 3 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether in view of the effect on house property of the Scottish rating system and Rent Restriction Acts combined, he is prepared to review, with a view to alteration, one or both of these Acts.

The effect of the Scottish rating system on the provision of houses was examined in 1944 by a Committee presided over by Lord Sorn and the position under the Rent Restriction Acts was considered by the Ridley Committee in 1945. I regret that in present circumstances I cannot hold out any prospect of legislation.

In view of the right hon. Gentleman's remarks in the Scottish Housing Debate on 13th April, what steps does he propose to take to end the deadlock in the possibility of getting housing, particularly in Glasgow, repaired?

That, of course, is another question which is not necessarily connected with the point raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman in his first Question.

Would the Minister not consider getting the De-rating Act withdrawn in view of the fact that if it were withdrawn, many local authorities would receive rates which would more than cover any deficit they have in their housing accounts?

Might I have an answer to the question I put? Are there any steps to be taken by the right hon. Gentleman?

I said in the original answer that I could not hold out any hope at present of legislation on this matter.

Can the Minister say what he means by the words, "present circumstances"—is he referring to the nearness of the General Election or what?

I should say that in view of the fact that the Conservative and all previous Governments were unable to find any solution for their own friends' problems, it is not very easy for us to find one in such a short time.