Housing (War Workers, Slough)

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Health – in the House of Commons on 20th October 1942.

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Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered a copy of a letter sent to him, by a firm engaged in important war work, and addressed to the Chief Billeting Officer, Slough, stating that it has been found necessary to apply for the release of valuable employees owing to the conditions under which these men are housed; and whether he will arrange with other Ministries to relieve the situation both by banning the area for military occupation and by the erection of huts?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Dundee

Yes, Sir. My right hon. Friend has already written to my hon. and gallant Friend and given him information on certain of the matters raised in the letter to which he refers. The subject is one which cannot properly be dealt with within the compass of a Question and answer, but I shall be happy to discuss it with my hon. and gallant Friend.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Several letters have been sent to the right hon. Gentleman, but the matter goes no further, and that is why I put down the Question. The matter is urgent, and something must be done or production will suffer.

Photo of Mr Edgar Granville Mr Edgar Granville , Eye

These men are engaged for long hours upon vital and heavy war work, and there is a shocking condition of overcrowding. Will the hon. Lady represent to her right hon. Friend that something must be done at once or important employees in war production will be lost?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Dundee

It is difficult to discuss by question and answer the arrangements for housing in particular areas.

Photo of Mr Edgar Granville Mr Edgar Granville , Eye

Will the hon. Lady make inquiries whether the local mayor has the right or vetoing billeting arrangements enabling landlords to refuse to take factory workers with families?

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Cannot the Ministry secure that Service people are turned out of areas which are required for munition workers?

Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Dundee

That is one of the difficulties of discussing the matter by question and answer. In certain areas there must be military people as well as those engaged in production.