Building Programme

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st March 1966.

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Photo of Mr William Hamling Mr William Hamling , Woolwich West 12:00 am, 1st March 1966

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government when he anticipates reaching a target of 400,000 completed houses in one year.

Photo of Mr William Hamling Mr William Hamling , Woolwich West

Is my right hon. Friend aware that that reply will be received with great satisfaction—[HON. MEMBERS: "It is nonsense."]—not only on these benches but in the constituencies?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

As the right hon. Gentleman failed to do it last year, what reason have we to believe he will be successful this?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

Last year all we achieved—I have to repeat it—was to exceed the Tory record by 9,000. This year we shall build 400,000. In the public sector we shall go widely ahead, and the private sector, provided it can, as I think it will, recover from the slump, should do very well indeed.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the number of houses completed in January, 1966, was less than that completed in January, 1965? How does this square up with his claim to build more houses?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I would suggest to the hon. Gentleman that monthly comparisons can be extremely misleading.

Photo of Mr Paul Rose Mr Paul Rose , Manchester, Blackley

Can my right hon. Friend say what he anticipates the effects of the housing subsidies will be, particularly with regard to the large conurbations such as Manchester and Liverpool, where, as a result, these areas have fixed higher targets for next year?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

We have set all the conurbations much higher targets, and the housing subsidies create the financial possibility, and the only limitation is a limitation we ourselves imposed upon the authorities, because we have to ration them in terms of the public money available.