Housing

Part of Orders of the Day — Supply – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st June 1978.

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Photo of Mr Bruce Douglas-Mann Mr Bruce Douglas-Mann , Merton Mitcham and Morden 12:00 am, 21st June 1978

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Henley (Mr. Heseltine) has had to leave the Chamber. I did my best to detain him. I did tell him that it was my intention to refer to some of the things that he said, or did not say.

When I heard that the Opposition had chosen to have a debate on housing I had every expectation that we would hear from them some of the things that they would do if they were returned to office after the General Election. We know one of the threats held over us. We know that we would have the hon. Member for Henley as Secretary of State for the Environment. That is had enough, but we still have no knowledge of what he would carry out as Conservative housing policy in the event of a Conservative Government.

We had instead a pathetic mixture of misleading populist rubbish from the Shadow Secretary of State. The hon. Gentleman said that Conservatives would release resources through council house sales. When we hear the Conservative Party talking about council house sales, they appear to be taking place in cloud-cuckoo-land, in which everyone wins from the transaction. It is true that the tenant will gain who has the opportunity of buying a publicly owned asset at 20 per cent. below the market price. We heard the hon. Gentleman talking of selling at £2,500. That would not be a 20 per cent discount but a 66 per cent. discount.