§ Mr. Robin F. Cook
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has yet made any decision on the recommendation of the Morris Report on Housing and Social Work that primary responsibility for housing the homeless should be transferred to the housing authorities.
§ Mr. Millan
I agree in principle with the Morris Committee's recommendation that primary responsibility for securing accommodation for the homeless should lie with housing authorities. At the same time. I recognise that difficult and deep seated problems may underlie situations which can lead to homelessness; that these problems may demand supervision and other forms of support beyond the mere provision of shelter if they are to be effectively tackled; and that, in consequence, it will be necessary for housing and social work authorities, among others, to develop close practical working arrangements. I have, therefore, agreed that the task of establishing how the primary responsibility and the supporting social work responsibilities are to be borne in practice should be discussed by the responsible Under-Secretaries of State with representatives of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities who are being invited to a meeting on 15th November.