Management (Model Rules)

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th January 1954.

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Photo of Mr Benjamin Parkin Mr Benjamin Parkin , Paddington North 12:00 am, 19th January 1954

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government (1) if he will draw up a code of model rules, to be added to as experience accumulates, for the assistance of local authorities in managing their housing departments;

(2) whether, following the experience of a case which has been brought to his notice, he will circularise local authorities giving guidance on the principles and procedure which should be observed in considering evictions from council-controlled dwellings.

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

The management of houses and flats under the control of local authorities is, by statute, a matter entirely for the authorities themselves. My predecessors and I have, after seeking the advice of the Central Housing Advisory Committee, from time to time circulated some general guidance as to the principles of allocation, transfers, exchanges, rent and general management problems. I would certainly be ready again to consult the Committee, which is a statutory and representative body, on whether the proposal contained in the hon. Member's Questions could usefully be followed.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Parkin Mr Benjamin Parkin , Paddington North

I appreciate the terms of the Minister's reply, but is he aware that in connection with the case mentioned in the second Question a very wide range of Press comment was excited, and from the more responsible section of the Press the Minister was urged to give the type of considered guidance for which I have asked?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

That is why I said I would consider asking the Statutory Committee, whose duty it is to advise me on these matters, whether they could usefully give me some guidance, which I could then pass to the local authorities. But I do think that the hon. Gentleman will agree that were I to try to deal from Whitehall with the housing problems of millions of people it would really be an impossible task.

Photo of Mr Donald Wade Mr Donald Wade , Huddersfield West

Arising out of Question No. 18, would the Minister consider the possibility of seeking greater co-ordination and co-operation between his Department and the welfare authorities responsible to the Ministry of Health in dealing with the difficult problem of providing temporary accommodation for those families which are being evicted from council-controlled houses?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

We do what we can, but we do not want to take away from the responsibility of local authorities, but rather to assist them.

Photo of Mr John Hay Mr John Hay , Henley

If my right hon. Friend eventually adopts the suggestion, will he include in the guidance the advice that they should not operate questionable schemes of insuring tenants' furniture?