asked the Prime Minister whether it is the intention of the Government to make a complete national survey of the whole of the housing accommodation in England, Scotland, and Wales, with a view to the solution of the housing problem on a national basis; whether an inventory will be made of all slums and insanitary dwellings unfit for human habitation; and whether he can state when this necessary task of national reconstruction will be undertaken?
A survey of housing conditions was made by local authorities as recently as 1919; and although I do not think that the general results can be taken as a measure of the effective demand for additional houses at the present time, the individual surveys contain a great deal of valuable information in regard to areas needing consideration from a sanitary point of view, which is serving as a basis for action. It is, moreover, the duty of local authorities to carry out inspection of dwelling-houses in their districts, and a great deal of work is being done by local authorities in dealing with unsatisfactory houses. The Government have promised a contribution towards the annual losses incurred by local authorities in dealing with slum areas, and many local authorities have schemes in preparation or progress.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the policy indicated in the question is the policy advocated by himself for the past nine years, and practically constitutes the pledge given to the electors in 1918?
Mr. T. THOMSON:
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the survey to which he referred as being officially made by the local authorities has been discredited by the Minister of Health, and is he, therefore, prepared to ascertain what the actual facts and needs really are?