Thousands live underground in one borough
the London borough of Islington alone there are no fewer than 14,000 underground rooms occupied by 21,000 people," stated Mr. Kerrell-Vaughan, Chairman of the Westminster Catholic Parents' Association's housing committee, at a meeting of the Islington C.P.A. on Sunday. "IN
This. he pointed out, is equivalent to the population of a medium-sized town.
Similar. deplorable conditions, said Mr. Kerrell-Vaughan, exist in one way or another throughout the country. 5. How can a family be brought up in Christian principles under overcrowded and often unhygienic conditions? " he asked.
'' Small wonder that tiny children are out playing on the streets, where they are at the mercy of bad influences.
" They are often lost to the family before they have time to belong to it.
"Behind most of our social problems the spectre of bad housing is lurking. Juvenile delinquency, crime and matrimonial troubles are all too often traceable to this same sourcebad housing.
" The health of far too many people is also being unnecessarily Undermined.
"The medical profession has said Over and over again that most tuberculosis is due to overcrowding, and there is plenty of evidence of the effect of bad housing on nervous Conditions.
"The diocesan council has written
a manifesto on the subject. They were in earnest and hoped to kindle a torch which would start a crusade to arouse the Catholic conscience throughout Great Britain."
He maintained that efforts to the present to solve the housing problem had failed. although every credit must be given to the local authorities who had done all they could within the narrow limits of present policy.
" Housing must be elevated above the sphere of party politics and every possible house-building agency should be pressed into service to end the existing state of affairs.
" Nothing should stand in the way of Housing being first priority in the public services; if it had been given as much importance as other social services we should not be in the plight we are today.
"The present rate of building. about 200.000 houses a year, is hopelessly inadequate," he declared.
Be admitted that there was a shortage of materials but pointed out that once the need was generally acknowledged. scarce commodities were obtained; petrol was a good example.