HC Deb 28 July 1943 vol 391 cc1564-5
36. Captain Gammans

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works the approximate number of bricks used in the erection of the brick blast wall outside the police quarters in Palace Yard, Westminster, near the Members' entrance; and the labour cost and the number of man-hours involved in laying them?

Mr. Hicks

The wall is constructed of Fletton bricks, the dimensions being 9ft. x 9ft. x 1ft. 2in. with end piers 1ft. 6in. x 9ins. It is reinforced with ¼inch mild steel rods and top splayed and weathered with cement and sand rendering. The approximate number of bricks used in its erection was 1,400. The labour cost was £10 19s. 4d. for 48 bricklayer hours with one labourer, and 8 scaffolder hours with one labourer, making a total of 112 man-hours altogether. This cost is too high, and over six weeks ago, when the matter was brought to my attention, I took immediate steps to see the official concerned, and gave instructions that closer supervision must be exercised in the future.

Major Petherick

Are we to understand that on the work in question only 20 bricks per hour were laid?

Mr. Hicks

I think that if my hon. Friend's arithmetic were checked by what I have said, it would show that it was much more than that.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Was it not more costly to lay the bricks than to make them?