Orders of the Day — Armed Forces (Housing Loans) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th November 1949.

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Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham East 12:00 am, 29th November 1949

It is true that if we were going to build this number of married quarters without this loan it would make a difference, but my point is that anyone looking at the Service Estimates will immediately see that there is this special item. If after having seen it, anyone is not prepared to go a little further and work out for himself the total amount being spent on Service needs, I really do not think we can bother further about it. There will be no deception in this matter.

The other point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for the Isle of Ely was the financial position of local authorities who take over these quarters when they become superfluous to Service needs. May I put this to him? Is he not really looking a great deal too far ahead? We are most anxious to get on with the building of these quarters, but, after all, they are not built yet. I do not think that at this stage we can answer questions with regard to the financial arrangements of the local authorities at a time when these quarters have not only been built, but when they have been used by the Service Departments and when something has occurred to cause those Departments to require them no longer, and when, therefore, they become available to the local authorities. We do not know what changes might occur between now and such a time in the housing position or in housing legislation, or what changes may have occurred in the powers and duties of local authorities. I think that we should be binding the future much too much if we attempted to answer that question.