§ 40. Major PRESCOTT
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the engineer and surveyor of the Tottenham Urban District Council reported to the Local Housing Committee, at its meeting on the 1st March, 1921, that he was not satisfied with the work of the bricklayers engaged in the erection of houses by direct labour on the Coombes Croft housing estate at Tottenham, that the men were specially given some straightforward work, and the result showed that the average number of bricks laid per man was only 272 per day; "whether these facts were communicated to the Ministry by the Housing Commissioner; and what action was taken in the matter to protect the public purse?
Sir A. MONO
I understand that the facts are that some additional bricklayers were started on some work; that the output of work by these men proved very unsatisfactory; and that the local authority's engineer dismissed the men on his own responsibility, and reported the matter to the council.
§ Major PRESCOTT
Has the right hon. Gentleman taken any steps to issue instructions to the Housing Commission to inform the Bricklayers' Society that the laying of an inadequate number of bricks means a largely increased rent to the working classes who will occupy those houses?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that under the scheme of direct labour every brick laid costs Is.?
Sir F. HALL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in pre-War days 900 bricks per day were laid on straightforward work, that the general cost is now four times more than in pre-War days, and that the cost of building houses is now 10 and 12 times more than it should be?
§ Major PRESCOTT
Can the right hon. Gentleman say what in his opinion is the average number of bricks which should be laid per day?