asked the Minister of Health, in view of the fact that Mr. Thackrah, 66, Karnac Road, Leeds, wishes to build 50 modern flats to let in Horsforth and is prepared to offer them to the council in order to diminish their housing waiting list, and that the housing in this, the largest village in England, is being held up owing to the restrictions relating to the issue of building licences for houses which can be built by private builders, if he will increase the quota of building licences allocated to that councl.
No, Sir. The discretion given to local authorities to issue up to one-fifth of their allocation by way of licences is the utmost concession that can be made at this time consistently with the housing policy of the Government that houses should be available at reasonable rents to those in greatest need.
Is the Minister aware that by rejecting this offer to build houses to let at a reasonable rent, he is inflicting unnecessary hardship upon the homeless people in this urban district?
What would happen is that if we inflated the housing programme in this area, it could only be done at the expense of other areas.
If there are any builders and building materials to spare in that part of the country, would my right hon. Friend bear in mind the great housing problem which faces a neighbour of Horsforth—the Leeds City Council?
As I said, once one makes a concession in one part of the country, it must always be done at the expense of somebody else unless we are able to inflate the housing programme as a whole.