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Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 8 April 1952

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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how many houses were commenced during the five months to 31st March, as compared with the number during the previous five months.

I regret that I am unable to add to the information already included in the published housing returns.

I do not think the published housing returns give the information asked for in the Question. As there is now a new policy, under which all the resources are being concentrated on finishing houses which have already been under construction rather than starting new ones, is it not rather important that we should get this information?

I think the housing returns give very complete information and, like my predecessors, I propose to rest upon them.

Does this mean that the Minister is maintaining the policy of starting as many houses under this Government as was started under the last Government?

If the hon. Gentleman puts down a Question I will give him an answer.

As my hon. Friend's Question asks the Minister whether the number started during these five months is the same as for the previous period, is he not in a position to tell us now?

There is nothing I can add, except that anybody who knew anything about this sort of matter would know that it was possible to compare only like periods in each year.