Mr David Gibson-Watt: The time limit for 75 per cent. grants has recently been extended until June 1974.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: The hon. Gentleman has a curious idea of a brake. The Government have just passed another Act to extend this important improvement grant. I know the problem in his constituency. As for Blaenavon, the figures this year are very much better than they were last year. In 1972 452 grants were approved in the hon. Gentleman's constituency compared with 216 the year before. That is a definite...
Mr David Gibson-Watt: With respect to the hon. Gentleman, what I was saying on previous occasions was that the total in the public, private and improved sectors in 1968 was something like 26,000 and that last year, under a Conservative Government, it was 42,000.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: None. But following two such deaths last year the Welsh Office wrote to all sewerage authorities in Wales reminding them of their responsibility for safety measures on their own installations and also of their duty under Section 39(l)(c) of the Public Health Act 1936 to ensure that private cesspits were adequately protected.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: I join with the hon. Gentleman in regretting these tragic accidents. I do not believe that legislation is the cure. When the hon. Gentleman wrote to my right hon. and learned Friend on 28th October last he asked that the Welsh Office should draw the attention of local authorities to this danger. We have done this on two occasions since he wrote.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: No. Information about rent levels will be published by the Institute of Municipal Treasurers andAccountants later this year. It is too soon to make estimates about rent increases in 1973.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: Tenants whose incomes are low and who are not able to afford increases in rent may well pay less rent as a consequence of the rent rebate scheme.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: The help given to tenants of the sort to whom the hon. Member refers will be far more substantial than before. The increase in the needs allowance for calculating rent rebates will mean that many tenants entitled to rebate will pay even less rent in future.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. This does not really surprise me because the Labour Party has been doing that for the last 100 years.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: Twenty-four at the Pembroke County War Memorial Hospital, Haverfordwest; none in the Withybush annexe. Ten are proposed for the new Withybush Hospital.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: I will certainly look at this matter. It is causing considerable concern to parents in Pembrokeshire. Following what my hon. Friend has said, I will take a further look at it.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: General guidance on the Act was given to local authorities in 1970 and specific guidance on Sections 1 and 2 in September 1971. My Department is always ready to give any advice and help it can.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: I have been looking at the records of the two counties which the hon. Gentleman represents. I notice that the record of one of them has improved since last year but that the record of the other has got worse. It might well be that the hon. Gentleman should address his remarks to the county concerned. We in the Welsh Office have asked local authorities to submit returns by 30th April this year...
Mr David Gibson-Watt: I assure the right hon. Gentleman that we have done every- thing possible. A postal survey of every household in the county of Brecon has been instituted. A 100 per cent. house-to-house survey has been under way in Radnorshire since April 1972. However, I agree that publicity given to today's exchanges may well help.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: The Welsh Office has given guidance to the Welsh Hospital Board and to the hospital management committees on the action to be taken, and is represented on a co-ordinating committee of chief officers set up by the Welsh Hospital Board which meets daily.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: I am rather surprised that the hon. Gentleman should take that attitude. I share his sadness and the sadness of other hon. Members that the hospital service is not working to full capacity. On the subject of pay, I remind the hon. Gentleman that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services has announced that under stage 2 hospital workers can be offered £2 a week for men...
Mr David Gibson-Watt: I am happy to support what my hon. Friend has said. I can only hope, with other hon. Members, that the present situation will come to an end as speedily as possible.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: I do not think that that arises from this Question.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: This information is not available.
Mr David Gibson-Watt: The gratuitous and unnecessary hardship to which the hon. Gentleman refers might well have been avoided if his party had not run away from revaluation in 1968. Secondly, I remind the hon. Gentleman that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer said in his Budget Statement that the Government would be giving additional help to domestic ratepayers who face large increases in their...