HC Deb 12 February 1924 vol 169 cc725-6

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that the unemployment Grants Committee have refused to allow the Middles-brough corporation to buy 400 tons of French cement required for street work during February, although the price is Ms. per ton less than the British Cement Combine price. Has this been done by his authority, and, if so, will he reconsider his decision so as to avoid placing an unnecessary burden of £220 on the backs of the already overburdened ratepayers.


As the hon. Member;s aware, it has been a condition of the giving of unemployment grants that, unless there are exceptional reasons to the contrary, British materials shall be used. I understand that, in view of the reduction in the price of British cement, the Unemployment Grants Committee did not feel on this occasion that they could properly give a grant to the Corporation unless they used British cement.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether this is the way that his Government are going to smash the rings and trusts by protecting home industries.


The Ministry have no power to give directions to the Unemployment Grants Committee. They hope to obtain from Parliament powers to deal with trusts.