§ 46. Sir K. WOOD
asked Prime Minister whether he will cause an inquiry to be made into the charge that building employers have recently added to build- 1508 ing contracts, as from 1st May, the equivalent of an increase in wages which in fact had not been paid?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Mr. Arthur Greenwood)
It is not thought that any good purpose would be served by such an inquiry as is referred to. The inquiry would be very lengthy and far-reaching, and it is very doubtful whether it would lead to any definite results. I may say, for the information of the hon. Member, that I am advised that the prices in building contracts within the knowledge of the Ministry of Health for the months of March-June inclusive do not indicate any such action generally on the part of contractors as is suggested.
§ Sir K. WOOD
Inasmuch as this is a very grave charge made by the Secretary of the Building Operatives' Association, is there any evidence at the Ministry of Health that there is any foundation for this charge?
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
It would be difficult to make inquiry, as suggested in my answer. It would not be easy to find out whether any general alteration in price was due to increase in contracts or to changes in the prices of material. The prices of houses in contracts let within our knowledge during the last two months, and up to June, show there has been in general no rise in the price.