§ 68. Mr. DIXEY
asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the urgency of the housing problem and the difficulties encountered, whether with labour or finance, in the provision of houses built of brick, stone or similar materials, to be let at rents which the working population can afford to pay, he will consider the possibility of constructing in rural areas where new houses are badly needed economically planned fireproof timber houses or bungalows, either for temporary or permanent occupation, and at rents not exceeding five shillings per week, to tide over the immediate shortage 1037 of accommodation in rural areas where the local authority is prepared to sanction such timber houses?
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
The design and materials of houses are matters as to which the initial responsibility is that of the local authorities Who provide the houses. My right hon. Friend is prepared to consider proposals for the erection of houses of timber construction, but he is advised that in normal circumstances there would be no appreciable saving of time or cost by the use of this method. The life of a timber house is shorter than that of a house of normal construction, and the effect of any economy in first cost would generally be neutralised by the consequential increase of the annual loan charges.