§ 7. Mr. Gallacher
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will guarantee special consideration of housing priority and the immediate start to the building of new towns in Fifeshire, in vew of the importance of this mining area to Scotland's reconstruction.
§ Mr. Westwood
The preparatory work in connection with proposals for the establishment of two new towns in Fife has reached an advanced stage, and I hope to take the necessary action under the New Towns Act in relation to the first of these projects at an early date. I am also arranging, in consultation with the local authorities, for 600 permanent houses for miners to be commenced in Fife by the Scottish Special Housing Association this year, and other measures for dealing with the housing requirements of the mining areas in the county are under consideration.
§ Mr. Gallacher
Is the Minister aware that Fife contains one of the most important coalfields in the country and that great new workings are being opened which will call for thousands of men? Will he ensure that the new towns and houses are built as expeditiously as possible?
§ Mr. Westwood
That is exactly what I am doing, but I am tied by the conditions laid down in the New Towns Act, and I must not prejudice myself in view of any representations which may be submitted to me following any public inquiry which may be necessary in accordance with the conditions of the New Towns Act. So far as mining needs are concerned, the county of Fife has already been allocated 600 1053 houses to meet immediate needs—300 at Kirkcaldy, 150 at Dunfermline, and 150 at Oakley.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore
May I express the hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not overlook the needs of Ayrshire, which is also to have a new town and produces the best coal in Scotland?
§ Sir T. Moore
With respect, Mr. Speaker, the right hon. Gentleman indicated that Fifeshire would get preferential treatment because of new towns and coal, but Ayrshire has a new town and coal too.