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Crofters' Houses (Deposits)

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th March 1957.

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Photo of Mr Malcolm Macmillan Mr Malcolm Macmillan , Na h-Eileanan an Iar 12:00 am, 26th March 1957

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that some crofters are being required to deposit about £300 before being allowed to build new houses with grant and loan aid from his Department; that this is discouraging some of those most in need of new homes; and whether he will reduce by half the amount required to be deposited.

Photo of Lord John Hope Lord John Hope , Edinburgh Pentlands

Each application is dealt with on its merits, and my right hon. Friend regrets that he cannot lay down any general rule in this matter. I can, however, assure the hon. Member that no unnecessary difficulties are placed in the way of the crofters.

Photo of Mr Malcolm Macmillan Mr Malcolm Macmillan , Na h-Eileanan an Iar

Is the Minister aware that it is an unnecessary difficulty to place in a man's way if he cannot afford to produce £300 for the deposit and is therefore unable to build his house, which everyone wants him to build? It is a question of the replacement of houses which are no longer fit for habitation. Is the Minister aware that a man can get 90 per cent. of the deposit from a private building society? In those circumstances, why does his Department hold out for £300 in the case of a house which probably costs about £1,000 to £1,700?

Photo of Lord John Hope Lord John Hope , Edinburgh Pentlands

It is seldom that as much as £300 is asked, although it sometimes is. There is no evidence that this practice of asking for a deposit, which was forced upon the Department by experience, has, in fact, discouraged crofters from seeking these facilities.