30. Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the provision of houses for the working classes in the Watford area is being delayed because of the shortage of bricklayers; whether this cause is responsible for the slow progress being made elsewhere with the erection of working-class houses; and if he will state what measures he proposes to take to cope with the difficulty?
I have inquired whether a shortage of bricklayers in the Watford area is retarding the progress of house building, and I am informed by the town council and the rural district council that they have experienced no difficulties in this respect.
The fact that over 217,000 houses were erected in England and Wales during the year ended in March last seems to indicate an improvement in the supply of skilled workers for house building and it is still made a condition of approval of housing schemes of local authorities that the contractors should employ a number of apprentices proportional to the number of building trade craftsmen employed on the schemes.
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
Does that answer imply that the Minister is now satisfied with the policy of the building trade unions in this matter?
§ Mr. THURTLE
Are we to understand from the Minister's reply that the suggestion contained in the first part of the question was entirely unfounded?
Can the Minister say whether there is any real shortage among slaters throughout the country, and whether that has been keeping back houses for some years?