HC Deb 28 July 1943 vol 391 cc1563-4
34. Mr. Kirkwood

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works whether he will undertake to send immediately to Clydebank the flying squad of his Department to plan for rehousing, temporarily or otherwise, the victims of air-raid damage in that burgh?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works (Mr. Hicks)

The flying squads are maintained by the Ministry of Works primarily to assist local authorities in cases where, immediately after an air raid, the problem of first-aid repair to houses is beyond the local labour resources. The squads are not organised or intended for new house building. The general responsibility for the provision of new houses rests with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland who is doing everything possible to accelerate the provision of both permanent and temporary housing in Clydebank.

Mr. Kirkwood

Is not my hon. Friend aware of the fact that in my hearing last week he stated that there were 3,000 members of the flying squad who went all over the country putting up temporary houses where there were new factories? Surely, it is as important to see that the workers in Clydebank, who are doing priority No. r work, should have houses, but they have not houses, and they have not had houses since the blitz. This has gone on for over two years.

Mr. Hicks

I think my hon. Friend has drawn a wrong deduction from what I said. The primary responsibility of the flying squads is to assist local authorities immediately after a blitz to do repairs. Some of the other workers were constructing preliminary camps in order to assist the housing of the building trade and civil engineering workers when they went on to the sites, and they were not to engage in general building.