22 JANUARY 1921, Page 3

Dr. Addison's ambitious and costly housing campaign, which has not

led to the erection of many houses, seems to have been based on inaccurate estimates. He induced the Prime Minister to tell Parliament that at least 500,000 new houses were required to make up the arrears of building in the war-period. But the Registrar-General's recent report for '1919 states that, as the population in that year exceeded that of 1911 by only 700,000, a net addition of 140,000 houses for 1911-19 would suffice. The Times points out that local authorities and public utility societies have let contracts for 140,000 houses, of which 13,350 are finished and 57,000 are under construction, and that private builders are erecting 29,000 houses, of which 5,811 are finished. If the Registrar-General is right, the housing problem is in a fair way to be solved, and Dr. Addison may cease to spend large sums on his official weekly journal and other expensive propaganda. The scarcity of skilled labour in the building trade accounts for the slow progress of many housing schemes in London and elsewhere.