HC Deb 23 May 1933 vol 278 cc928-30
39. Mr. ATTLEE

asked the Minister of Health the percentage increase in the price of Fletton bricks and cement at the present time over 1913; and whether he will inquire into the reasons for the in crease?


The percentage increase in the price of Fletton bricks Since 1913 is 55 and in the price of best British Portland cement 28, but there have been decreases Since 1924 of 4 and 23 per cent. respectively. My right hon. Friend has already means of information as to the course of the prices in question.

40. Mr. ATTLEE

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the short age of Fletton bricks in London, which is seriously hampering building operations, that 80 per cent. of the output of such bricks is controlled by one firm; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?


My right hon. Friend understands that the increased activity of the building trade has resulted in a temporary shortage of the sort. He is informed that the firm in question is working at its full capacity to overtake the increase in demand, and that there is no evidence of any likelihood of building operations being seriously hampered. A lag of the sort not unusually accompanies a revival of building activity.


IS it accurate, as stated in the question, that 80 per cent. of the output of these bricks is controlled by one firm?


I shall want notice of that question.


May I ask my hon. Friend under what statutory enactment the Minister of Health has any administrative power, as suggested in the question, to control the supply of bricks?


He has none whatever.


Are we to understand that all the brick-making machines in Fletton and Peterborough are working to full capacity?


Yes, such has been the success of the Government's housing policy.


Holy Moses!

41. Mr. ATTLEE

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the inconvenience and cost caused to builders in London by the insistence on delivery only at one station by the firm which controls the greater part of the production of bricks, he will take steps to prevent this restriction in the case of all building schemes under the control of his Department?


My right hon. Friend is not aware of the existence of any such restriction, and he thinks the hon. Member must have been misinformed: but my right hon. Friend will be glad to consider any particulars submitted to him.


Will the hon. Gentleman make inquiries as to this complaint, which has come from firms in London, and take steps to see that there is an adequate supply for builders?


Steps have been taken and inquiries made, and I understand that the particular company referred to in the question actually delivered last month, to every one of the 57 stations within 10 miles of King's Cross.