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Contract Payments

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 26 February 1952

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The following Questions stood upon the Order Paper:


To ask the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he has yet come to any conclusion as to the principles on which Parts VI and VII of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, should be amended;


To ask the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is aware that in many cases local housing authorities are very slow in paying builders for work completed under housing contracts; and whether he will issue a circular with a view to accelerating these payments.

I am about to seek the views of the Association of local authorities on proposals for overcoming this and similar difficulties arising out of present contract procedure.

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that in this matter time is not on his side by reason of the fact that owing to the ill-conceived legislation of the previous administration—

On a point of order. Do I understand, Mr. Speaker, that the right hon. Gentleman has answered Question No. 28?

I am afraid that I answered Question No. 28 in mistake for Question No. 27. No doubt the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question to Question No. 27 will be just as apposite.

The answer is as follows:

No, Sir. As hon. Members are aware, a review of the financial provisions of the Act is in progress. Until that is complete I regret that I cannot make any statement.

On a point of order. May I at this point seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker. Would it be in order for me to take as read the supplementary question to No. 27 which I inadvertently put to No. 28, and for me now to put my supplementary question to No. 28.

So far as I know, the hon. Member has not yet asked No. 28 but the answer has been given.

Owing to the noise, Mr. Speaker, I was not able to hear your Ruling as to which Question we are now on.

The hon. Member can take it that he has asked Question No. 28, and if he has a supplementary question to put to the answer which he received to Question No. 27 he can ask it.

In regard to Question No. 27, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the impediment to housing and other desirable development by reason of the uncertainty in regard to the amendment of the financial provisions of this Act. In regard to Question No. 28, does my right hon. Friend appreciate that these are matters of contract between the local authorities and the builders and, therefore, there can be no reason for delay in this way.

On a point of order. Would it be in order to ask a supplementary question on Question No. 27?

It would be quite in order to do so if we had not passed on. This is such a tangled affair that we had better pass on.