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Abolition Of Central Housing Advisory Committee

Volume 887: debated on Monday 24 February 1975

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Lords Amendment: No. 17, in page 9, line 18, at end insert new Clause C:

"C. Section 143 of the Housing Act 1957 (provision for appointment and functions of Central Housing Advisory Committee) is repealed, and the Committee shall accordingly cease to exist."

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

With this we may take Lords Amendment No. 55, in page 35, line 15, at end insert:

methods of consultation. I said then that we should seek an opportunity to deal with this matter in legislation, and that is what the new clause seeks to do.

As the Minister was courteous enough to mention me, and also the answer which he gave me announcing this decision a few weeks ago, perhaps I ought to say something on the subject.

I was a little sorry that the Minister did not tonight, although he did in reply to my Question, pay tribute to the work of the Central Housing Advisory Committee. This committee has been in existence at least since the Housing Act 1936, and possibly before that, and has produced many substantial reports which have done a great deal in the furtherance of housing policy and discussions.

The Minister said in support of his request to the House to agree with the Lords amendment that there were many other ways of consulting about housing. That is true, and it would be out of order to proceed with that matter further. Suffice it to say that in the present stage of housing policy, when there are so many complexities and difficulties, it is an odd time to abolish a body which has done a great deal of useful work in furthering the housing discussion.

The Minister must make his own decision on whether to abolish one body rather than another and decide about the method of consultation which he chooses to use, but it is unfortunate that he did not from the Dispatch Box tonight pay a more copious tribute to the work done by the Central Housing Advisory Committee.

Question put and agreed to.