HC Deb 24 February 1919 vol 112 cc1342-3
3. Mr. RAPER

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give an assurance that none of the fifths and wrack lying in the Surrey Commercial and other docks in the United Kingdom and shipped to the order of the Government timber Buyer will be at any time utilised in the construction of houses to be built under the Government scheme; and whether he is aware that the employment of such inferior timber in houses is detrimental to public health on account of the fungoid growth which it develops?


Timber imported by the Government Buyer is disposed of to the timber trade for ordinary commercial purposes, and I have no information as to the persons who ultimately purchase, or the purpose to which they apply the timber. Whether any of the fifths or wrack referred to would be suitable for housing is a very technical matter which cannot well be dealt with by question and answer in the House. Housing construction under the Government scheme is a matter concerning the Local Government Board, by whom arrangements for safeguarding against the use of unsuitable materials will no doubt be made.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of the timber used in the Salisbury Plain huts was unsuitable?


If the hon. Gentleman supplies me with information on that subject I will have inquiry made.


In view of the fact that this timber is quite unsuitable for house construction, is there any reason why its use should not be forbidden?


I understand some of the wood classified as fifths is capable of being used, because it is only a question of being of uneven lengths, and therefore it is impossible to give an exact definition in the form which the hon. Gentleman desires.

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