§ 30. Mr. Bossom
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings which building materials he has taken under control; who are the controllers in each case; is this control instituted exclusively to provide materials for the use of the services and to enable emergency repairs to be readily undertaken or, if needed by the public, what procedure should be followed to obtain any such materials?
§ Mr. Hicks
The industries in which control has so far been established are cement, bricks, asbestos cement goods and roofing felt. The Controller of Building Materials is Mr. Hugh Beaver. Under him have been appointed a Director of Cement, Lord Wolmer; and a Director of Bricks, Mr. T. P. Bennett. The appointment of a Director of Roofing Materials is under consideration. The object of the control in each case is to secure the maximum output with the greatest economy of raw materials and labour; and the most efficient distribution in accordance with the demands of vital national works, provision of air raid shelters, air-raid damage repair and other essential work. Where the public require material for emergency repairs and are unable to obtain them through the ordinary channels, they should apply to their local authority, who can issue a certificate that carries special priority. It will be understood, however, that some materials are in short supply and the utmost economy is essential.
§ Mr. Bossom
Are any other materials which are important in the construction of buildings controlled by other Departments?
§ Mr. Hicks
Among the duties laid upon the Minister of Works and Buildings at the creation of the new Ministry in October was the control of any building materials not already controlled. Timber 162 and steel have already been controlled by the Ministry of Supply. There were some other commodities in regard to which the raw material was already controlled, such as paper, which enters a good deal into the manufacture of roofing felt, beaver boards and things of that character, and that matter is being adjusted.
§ Mr. Hicks
I do not quite follow the question. If my hon. Friend asks how many people are interested in the question of bricks and cement, I would answer that the Director of Cement is working under the Controller of Cement, who is Mr. Hugh Beaver, who has no financial interest in any shape or form in the cement industry. Lord Wolmer is the Director working under him on the question of cement, and Mr. T. P. Bennett is working under him as Director of Bricks.