HC Deb 05 May 1943 vol 389 cc158-9
36. Major Lyons

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the ministry Works whether, in view of the position of the constructional war programme and the urgency of rehousing all classes of workers in the bombed areas or on other appropriate sites in the immediate postwar period, he will use any surplus unskilled labour and available machinery in the preparation of lay-outs and approval of plans, clearance of sites and provision of services and foundations to surface level so that later the least possible delay may take place in the erection of the superstructure?

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

In the event of any unskilled labour becoming available, the possibility of using it for undertaking the preparatory work in the clearance of sites and in the provision of services for the rehousing of the population will most certainly be kept in mind. As regards the lay-out and approval of plans, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health has already asked local authorities to carry out all the preparatory work necessary to enable one year's work on rehousing to be started as soon as labour and materials become available.

Major Lyons

Did I gather from the answer that the Minister of Health has already circularised local authorities?

Mr. Hicks

Yes, Sir.

Sir Herbert Williams

How is it possible to have lay-out plans until we know on what sites it will be permissible to build?

Mr. Hicks

This applies to clearance sites.

Sir H. Williams

Until a decision has been made in regard to town planning, how shall we know whether we shall be able to build on cleared sites?

Mr. Hicks

We are trying to tidy up everywhere.

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