2 MAY 1931, Page 11



Mr. Arthur Greenwood has issued yet another memorandum calling upon local authorities to make up their minds upon their housing progranunes, and offering to help and advise in various ways in drawing them Up. So far none of these despairing cries has met with very spectacular results. The truth is that while several different authorities are responsible, each of them can always throw upon the others the respon- sibility for inaction. Yet the Spectator has never advocated bureaucratic management of building or any other commercial activity. What it has urged, as the only means of getting the State, the Local authorities, private landlords and the public to act effectively together, is a national housing survey and programme. Then each authority would be able -to tell exactly the extent of its responsibility, and, even more impor- tant, would know that it could be blamed for failing to carry it out. At present none of them will lay the burden upon its own rate or tax payers while there is any chance that anyone else can be made to help, nor are they likely to be induced to do so by Mr. Greenwood. The situation is a deadlock, which must be ended before the national disgrace of slums can be removed.

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