§ 68. Mr. Silkin
asked the Minister of Health whether having regard to the great evil of jerry-building throughout the country, he is in a position to make a statement as to the efforts made by the building industry to deal with this problem?
§ Mr. Elliot
Yes, Sir. At the instance of influential sections of the building trade a body known as the National House Builders' Registration Council was established some two years ago. This body, with which officers of my Department are in close touch, arranges for the inspection of houses by its own staff at all important stages of construction in order to ensure the observance of the standards which it has laid down, and, if satisfied that the construction of the building accords with these standards, issues a certificate to the builder. Some thousands of houses have already been dealt with under these arrangements. I may add that I am prepared to give my whole-hearted support to any scheme which promises success in 595 improving the standard of house building, and I should be glad to see the scheme of the council better known and more universally adopted.
§ 69. Mr. Silkin
asked the Minister of Health whether having regard to the desirability, from the point of uniformity and simplicity, of standardising building by-laws throughout the country, he will give early consideration to this question and make a statement thereon?
§ Mr. Elliot
Model building by-laws, based on recommendations made by an Advisory Committee representing all the interests concerned, were prepared by my Department and issued to local authorities in July, 1937, in connection with the preparation of the new codes which must be brought into operation by the 31st July, 1939. In a further circular issued last March local authorities were informed that it would be difficult for the Department to approve departures from the model clauses unless justified by special local circumstances.