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Housing

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 15 November 1961

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18.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the number of local authority houses likely to be built in 1961–62 and 1962–63, respectively.

Present estimates assume the completion of 18,000 houses by Scottish local authorities in 1961–62 and 16,500 in 1962–63.

In view of the housing problem in Scotland, is not the Undersecretary of State ashamed to make such an announcement and to declare that next year he will reduce the expenditure by £1 million? In view of the condition of Scotland's housing problem, is not this scandalous?

The Hon. Gentleman asked a Question which enabled him to get an Answer which enabled him to ask his supplementary question in the way that he did. The figures, of course, which have not been included are those for building by the Scottish Special Housing Association, the development corporations and private builders.

But surely the hon. Gentleman appreciates that the Government's own White Paper includes these organisations in this reduction of £1 million. They are all to be reduced next year.

Would the hon. Gentleman tell us what the figures are for the bodies to which he has just referred? When he has added those figures to the 18,000 which he has mentioned, does the estimate come within even an appreciable extent of Scotland's housing need?

The figures for completions for the last two years and the two succeeding years are 21,600, 21,500, 21,300 and 21,000 to the nearest hundred.

Do not these figures imply that young married couples will still have to wait five years in rooms with their in-laws before they get the chance of a house?

My hon. Friend will have to wait that time before he gets an answer to his question.

In view of the unsatisfactory reply which I did not receive, I give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.