asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has formulated in the course of the past year for accelerating the pace of slum clearance.
In response to approaches my right hon. Friend has made to them, Scottish local authorities are proposing to accelerate the rate of slum clearance, so that some 45,000houses are closed or demolished during the three years 1965 to 1967. He intends to present very soon a White Paper about this and other aspects of the housing programme.
While thanking the Minister for that Answer, may I ask him whether he realises that this is another sad story of procrastination on the part of the Government and that a great many of us are profoundly dissatisfied that he has not shown a greater sense of urgency in pressing ahead with the solution of these tragic social problems resulting from the slums, particularly in view of the aggressive speeches made by his right hon. Friend when in Opposition?
I am sorry that the hon. Member misheard me. The figure which I stated was 45,000 houses proposed for demolition in three years. The past average has been 12,000 a year. The present figure of slum clearance under this Government is 7,870 in the first six months. I think that the hon. Member is wrong