20 APRIL 1944, Page 2

Town-planning Bill this Session

The fact that Hull has reached the stage when it seeks Parlia- mentary powers for rebuilding and reorganising the city shows how essential it is that the Government's national plan should be before Parliament. It is all to the good that this Corporation, intent upon getting ahead with re-development, should have proceeded to make a plan of its own without regard to a national plan which does not yet exist. Many other local authorities whose areas have suffered severely from blitzes are anxious in the same way to com- plete their preparations, but have held their hands till they know more of the Government's intentions. In all there are 1,70o local authorities which will have to prepare schemes of lesser or greater magnitude, and these must fit into the general pattern. It was obvious that the Hull proposals would have to be turned down, and must await what Mr. W. S. Morrison called a national code of legislation. Pressed to say when he would have his planning Bill ready, Mr. Morrison said he hoped to have it in time to enable Parliament to pass it before the end of the Session. He did not say much about the contents of the Bill beyond the fact that it will deal with the procedure for the acquisition of land for recon- struction and limit the price to pre-war values, but stated that the powers conferred would be such as to enable Hull and every other bombed city to start reconstruction as soon as builders and material are available. It is something to have the assurance that the Bill will come before Parliament this Session.