asked the Minister of Health, having regard to the fact that, according to the medical officer of health for Bradford, persons are paying as much as 7s. per week for a furnished cellar-dwelling of one room only which has been declared uninhabitable, that rooms are being sub-let at 4s. and 5s. a. week, that overcrowding and insanitary conditions are present and constantly increasing, that the Ministry of Health has only sanctioned the erection of 856 houses for which there are about 6,000 applicants, of whom 4,036 are ex-service men and of whom 3,245 are living in apartments, and that, as similar conditions more or less as bad obtain in various industrial areas, if he is now prepared to allow local authorities to continue to provide housing accommodation based on the proved facts of overcrowding according to the official standard?
I have recently authorised the local authority to which the hon. Member refers to obtain tenders for a further 50 houses in addition to the 854 already approved, and I have arranged for a deputation from the local authority to be received to-morrow, when any suggestion which they may wish to make will be fully considered. On the general question of an extension of the St ate-assisted housing scheme, I cannot add anything to the replies I have already given, but I shall be happy to entertain proposals from local authorities for building houses on their own responsibility.