§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT (LORD SANDFORD)
My Lords, I think it would be to the convenience of the House if, with permission, I were not to repeat a further Statement, which is being made in another place by my right honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Construction, on the sale of council houses. It is as follows:
§ "The demand for home ownership has never been stronger than it is to-day. The Government are pledged to help meet that demand.
§ "One of our first actions on taking office was to remove the restriction imposed in 1968 on the sale of council houses.
§ "The response from many local authorities has been encouraging. But there are still many local authorities who refuse to sell council houses to their tenants and some who used to sell but have now ceased to do so.
§ "The Government consider that for the very great majority of local authorities there is no conflict between the adoption of positive policies for the sale of council houses to their tenants and their other housing responsibilties.
§ "The local housing authorities, as the present owners of the houses, have it in their power to meet the desire of their tenants for home ownership. In the Government's view they have a duty to use this power. If they do not, they will be failing to take proper account of their housing responsibilities. They will also be failing to play their part in helping to secure an adequate supply of houses for sale at a reasonable price.
§ "The Government have accordingly decided that the time has come for all local authorities to review their policies in this important field. A circular is being sent to-day to all local authorities in England urging them to adopt a policy of selling houses to those of their tenants who wish to buy. In view of the interest of right honourable and honourable Members in this matter I have arranged for the text 718 of the circular to be included in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ "I understand that my right honourable and learned friend the Secretary of State for Wales is sending a circular in similar terms to all local authorities in Wales."
§ Following is the text of the circular referred to:
§ Circular 56/72
§ Department of the Environment,
§ 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 3EB.
§ 13 June 1972