HC Deb 30 March 1920 vol 127 cc1074-6
59. Mr. D. GRAHAM

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he has received any representations from local authorities in Scotland with respect to the restrictions imposed by the Board of Health on the height of the ceilings of houses other than tenements erected under the housing schemes; whether they are asking to have discretionary powers granted to them to increase the height, and that the cost involved should be allowed to rank against the Government grant; and whether these representations have been considered by the Board of Health and, if so, with what result?

60. Colonel Sir A. SPROT

asked the Secretary for Scotland if he is aware that the Scottish Board of Health is restricting the height of ceilings of houses other than tenements erected under the housing schemes to 8 ft. 6 in. maximum on the lower floor and 8 ft. on the upper; and if he will cause discretionary power to be given to the local authorities in such a matter?


Various representations have been received from local authorities who desire a discretion to increase the height of the ceilings, and who ask that the additional cost should rank against the Government Grant. The Board have given the fullest consideration to these requests, but they find no sufficient reason to justify the great additional cost in- volved, either on hygienic or other grounds, and I therefore regret that I cannot see my way to vary the existing Regulation.

62. Mr. G. MURRAY

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that inconvenience is being caused to local authorities in Scotland owing to the fact that the Regulations in connection with luxury buildings under the most recent Housing Act have not yet been issued; whether he will take steps to have these Regulations expedited; and by what date he expects they will be in the hands of the local authorities?


Regulations have been prepared by the Scottish Board of Health, who hope to place them in the hands of all local authorities in the course of next week. I am not aware of any inconvenience which has meantime been caused to local authorities.

63. Mr. G. MURRAY

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that the local authorities in Scotland are being considerably handicapped by the delay in the issue of the new lists of prices and specifications for housing by the director of materials and supplies; and whether he will take such steps as will hasten and ensure the issue of these lists at an early date?


I have been asked to reply. All price lists and specifications for housing material have been issued with the exception of the revised list of prices for light castings. This revised list is at present in the hands of the printers. So far as can be ascertained the delay in issuing this list has not interfered with the arrangements of the local authorities. No complaints have been received cither by headquarters or by the Chief Housing Commissioner in Scotland.

64. Mr. G. MURRAY

asked the Secretary for Scotland what steps are being taken in Scotland to control and regulate the timber supplies, in order that all necessary and available timber shall be at the disposal of the local authorities for use in the construction of essential houses; whether he is aware that, owing to the demand for timber, there is a danger of the price rising inordinately; whether any steps are being taken to prevent this; and, if not, what he proposes to do in the matter?


I have been asked to reply. The stocks of timber held by the Government in Scotland, as elsewhere, are being disposed of to merchants: control of the trade having been relinquished as from 31st March, 1919, the Board of Trade Timber Supply Department have no power to control prices.


Are the Government making any profit on the timber they are selling to merchants, and is not that one of the causes of the high prices of timber which are making buildings all the more expensive?


I should like to have that question put down before answering it.