HC Deb 30 January 1941 vol 368 cc654-5
8. Sir Patrick Hannon

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will state the extent to which he has been able to meet the request made by the Birmingham City Council for additional labour for the repair of damaged house property and the restoration of public utility services?

Mr. Bevin

Substantial assistance has been given by my Department to the Birmingham City Council in the provision of the necessary labour. This has been effected partly by means of skilled workers released from the Army or loaned by surrounding local authorities, partly by withdrawing men temporarily from work on contracts in the neighbourhood, and partly by the supply of workers who were previously unemployed. I am not in a position to give figures.

Sir P. Hannon

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the grave situation in Birmingham in relation to the reparation of houses which have been destroyed, and will he do all he possibly can to provide labour for the restoration of houses?

Mr. Bevin


Mr. Rhys Davies

Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to look into this matter at once? There are hundreds if not thousands of houses which require a little repair.

Mr. Bevin

I can assure by hon. Friend that very few people have been called up from the building industry. As a matter of fact, the number of people who have been added to the building industry for this purpose runs into many thousands, and steps have been taken, in conjunction with the Minister of Works and Buildings, in order to put them into mobile squads to move about the country where the "blitz" takes place.