Orders of the Day — Housing

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd March 1945.

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Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western 12:00 am, 22nd March 1945

It has been said that the housing position is a crisis similar to that of the war, but I am doubtful whether those who used the expression realise what the crisis of housing means. Everyone understands that, if we were defeated lay the Nazis, it would be the finish for this country. In the some way, if we are defeated in the war for producing the houses that are required, the country is finished. For associated with the question of housing is health—the campaign against tuberculosis, the overcoming of infantile mortality and the whole question of the population of the country—all of these are associated with this crisis of housing. But one can read the White Paper and never get the faintest idea that the housing question is a real crisis deeply affecting the whole position and the future of the country. You could win the war against the Nazis and, by failing in the problem of housing, destroy the country. I am certain that the Secretary of State for Scotland has a real understanding of the problem but it is not in the White Paper. One hon. Member said it was not a political question, but it is. But first I should like to take exception to something said by the hon. Member for Brigg (Mr. Quibell). He said that there were people who wanted better class houses, and they were entitled to get them, and that met with quite a response on the other side. The people who want better class houses have quite comfortable houses already, and there are masses of people who have no homes, and are packed into sub-lets and that kind of thing. It is a scandal to say that better class houses should be built, until every family has a home that it can call its own.