§ 43. Sir A. HOLBROOK
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the use of foreign tiles to roof Liverpool Corporation houses built by direct labour; whether any subsidy was granted in respect of these houses; and whether he will consider, in all cases where subsidy is made, that all material used shall be of British manufacture?
§ Sir K. WOOD
My right hon. Friend is aware of the circumstances indicated in the first part of the question. Subsidy is being paid on the houses in question. With regard to the last part of the question, Section 10 of the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1024, provides that, in approving proposals for the construction of houses, the Minister of Health shall not impose any conditions which would prevent the materials required being purchased in the cheapest market at borne or abroad. The Government have, however, urged local authorities to arrange that all contracts for or incidental to works carried out by them should, in the absence of special circumstances, be placed in this country. My right hon. Friend understands that in the present case the course adopted has resulted in a substantial saving of cost.
§ Sir A. HOLBROOK
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the building trade in Liverpool say that this is much more costly than if the tiles had been bought in this country?
§ Mr. SHINWELL
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the Liverpool Corporation is controlled by a Tory majority?
§ Major PRICE
Can my right hon. Friend say what is the difference between the wages paid to those who make tiles in this country and the wages of those who make them in foreign countries?
§ Sir K. WOOD
No, I cannot answer that question, but I may say that my right hon. Friend, in every case where it is reasonable, is urging local authorities to use materials of British manufacture.
§ Sir J. SANDEMAN ALLEN
Is my right hon. Friend aware that these tiles 765 were used only for the completion of a certain part of the work, and not for a new scheme?