Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Part of Orders of the Day — Supply. – in the House of Commons on 7th June 1937.

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Photo of Mr Somerset De Chair Mr Somerset De Chair , Norfolk South Western

They have got to raise the money under the existing practice. In the Stoke Ferry area they have an outstanding debt of £1,450 involving an annual charge for repayment and interest of £150, and there a penny rate produces £4 0s. 11d. It is certainly impossible, without a considerable grant, for the necessary pumping equipment to be introduced and the necessary drainage to be carried out, and that is why I particularly welcome the proposal which the Minister announced to-day.

I should like to touch upon the question of rural housing which has been raised by several lion. Members, and I ask the Minister whether he thinks that any great use is being made to-day of the Housing Act, 1926, which was introduced by a Conservative Government. The intention of that Act was that if the landlord wanted to renovate cottage property in order to put it into a fit state of preservation and comfort for the rural workers, he could claim a one-third grant from the council and a one-third grant from the Ministry. My experience is that local government is very reluctant to advance a grant for that purpose, because it is felt that it is subsidising the landlord.