War Workers (Accommodation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing – in the House of Commons on 19th November 1942.

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Mr. K. C. Morrison:

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that many war workers are finding increasing difficulty in obtaining living accommodation within reasonable distance of their work; and will he consider making it compulsory to notify all vacancies both furnished and unfurnished to the local authority who would be responsible, through their rehousing officers, for allocating accommodation to those most urgent in the national interest?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I have received some complaints of the character indicated in the first part of the Question, but, in my opinion, the powers in the matter which I possess under the Defence Regulations for billeting, requisitioning and restricting the influx of population into specified areas are sufficient. I have already considered the question of a provision of general application on the lines suggested by my hon. Friend, but it is doubtful whether the advantages would be commensurate with the administrative difficulties and elaborate machinery which it would involve. I can, however, assure my hon. Friend that I shall not hesitate to ask for any further powers which experience may show to be necessary and practicable.

Mr. Morrison:

Will the right hon. Gentleman give attention to specific localities where the situation is steadily becoming worse? The national war effort is being seriously hampered.

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I shall be glad to do that.