15 AUGUST 1958, Page 18

COUNCIL HOUSES SIR,—Anybody who turns up the newspaper files for

Thursday, October 24 last year, can see some very sensible remarks by Mr. Henry Brooke, Minister of 'Housing. Speaking at a housing and town planning conference at Harrogate, Mr. Brooke is reported to have given a broad hint about the necessity of weeding out wealthy -tenants of council houses.- If this were done, and if subsidies no longer went to the wrong people, then it would be possible to help people financially in need of low rents.

How much notice has been taken of this? The Rent Act has' not been an unqualified success, as is evident from the Government's decision to amend it. And writing as one of a household under notice to quit, when we have actually been vainly trying to move into a smaller house for years, I can see no useful outcome along these lines at all.

What stands in the way of something sensible being done about council houses? It seems to me that if Mr. Brooke's suggestions at Harrogate had been taken seriously many grounds for criticism of the Rent Act would have been removed.

As it is, we have the anomalous position of the Rent Act's failure to produce `To Let' signs and of vast numbers of council houses being allocated under unrealistic systems of priority, many of them tenanted by well-to-do families. Who can fail to notice the way in which council house chimneys fairly bristle with both BBC and ITV television aerials?

I am unable to see why many households should be expected to suffer anxieties and perhaps the break- up of their homes when at the same time people who are comfortably off in any case are being helped by subsidies.—Yours faithfully, 32 Vyner Road, Wallasey, Cheshire JOHN COLLINSON