Housing

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th December 1951.

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Photo of Mr James Hudson Mr James Hudson , Ealing North 12:00 am, 4th December 1951

They were the plans to complete 200,000 houses in the first two years and at the end of that time to have 80,000 houses under construction, whereas what the right hon. Gentleman succeeded in doing was to build 80,000 houses and have 200,000 houses in various stages of building.

Not only that, but as a result of the high cost and the inefficient building produced by what I might call "Bevanism" the housing programme proved to be most vulnerable when it came to making cuts. The right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that when there was a financial crisis a short time ago one of the first things that was done was to cut housing. It was only as a result of protests made by the Parliament elected in 1950 that those cuts were restored to the figure of 200,000. The Conservative Government, after the Socialist crisis in 1931, instead of cutting steadily increased the number of houses being built year by year.

The situation in Scotland is even worse than in England. The actual number of permanent houses built in Scotland has reached only 97,000 whereas under the Goschen formula it ought to be at least 112,000 if the operation had been completed.