HC Deb 03 May 1920 vol 128 cc1707-8

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that schemes for the building of workmen's dwellings are being held up in various parts of the country owing to the very high cost of building; that the average price for building a workman's dwelling to-day is about £1,000, an increase of about 25 per cent. since last January; and that this high cost is brought about mainly by rings in the building trade; and whether he will now inform the House that the Government are prepared to regard the building of workmen's dwellings as a war measure and control the price and distribution of building materials?


My right hon. Friend is aware that the high cost of building is in a number of cases occasioning delay in the provision of houses. The question of the cost and the profits made in connection with the provision of building materials, and the existence of building combines of the kind indicated are at present being inquired into by a Committee appointed under the Profiteering Act by my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, and it is hoped that the Report of that Committee will be available shortly.


Will the hon. Gentleman say when that Report will be forthcoming? The question has been asked in this House several times, and each time he says "shortly" Can he give us some approximate date when that Committee will report, because in the meantime the prices of building materials are rising without any effective measures being taken to control them?


I am afraid I cannot give my hon. Friend the answer he desires, but I will ask the Minister for whom I am answering.