§ 72. Mr. MASTERMAN
asked the Minister of Health who are to form the committee which are to guarantee the building of the municipal houses under his housing scheme; whether they are to be representatives of the Building Committee whose Report is published in Cmd. 2104; whether representatives of the House Builders' Committee will be included; and whether its sub-committees are to have 361 the power of rationing municipalities with labour and squeezing out builders who do not conform to its conditions as suggested in the Report?
My right hon. Friend is not yet in a position to make an announcement as to the constitution of the committee to which the right hon. Gentleman refers, but he may take it that representatives of all branches of the building industry will be included. The principal duties of the sub-committees will be to see that sufficient labour and materials are available for the number of houses to be erected in the locality under the housing scheme. They will have no power to squeeze out any type of builder.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
Will my hon. Friend's right hon. Friend be in a position to make a statement before the Housing Bill leaves this House?
§ 73. Mr. MASTERMAN
asked the Minister of Health whether he has any information as to the number of applicants who have had previous experience, e.g., building trade labourers, who will be permitted to become skilled craftsmen under the scheme for building municipal houses guaranteed by the Building Committee in Command Paper 2104, which he has accepted as the basis of his Housing Bill?
My right hon. Friend has no information on the point referred to by the right hon. Gentleman. If will be a condition of every contract that apprentices up to a total ratio of one apprentice to three craftsmen shall be employed in certain trades, and in considering applications special consideration will be given to men with previous experience in the trade.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
Does that refer to apprentices under 20 or to builders' labourers who may become trained and fully skilled craftsmen?
Provision is made in the Report accepted by the industry for taking in, for special training, people already in the industry.
§ Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
Is it not a fact that the Bricklayers' Union refused to allow apprentices or builders' labourers over 20 to join?
§ 74. Mr. MASTERMAN
asked the Minister of Health whether, in the absence of skilled men in the building industry adequate to carry out the programme outlined in the Housing Bill, he will grant assistance to local authorities who wish to train selected unemployed ex-service men, trade unionists, and others, in order to supplement the limited supply of skilled labour now available for the building of the municipal houses?
No, Sir. My right hon. Friend thinks that the only practical way of securing the necessary augmentation of building labour is by a scheme of apprenticeship on the lines recommended by the National House Building Committee.
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
Then we are to take it that the policy of the Government is to exclude from the building trade, which requires these men, all men over 20, ex-service men and others, not already in?