HC Deb 06 December 1944 vol 406 cc526-7
49. Mr. Burke

asked the Minister of Production how many factories have been built by His Majesty's Government for Briggs Motor Bodies, Limited, and how much public expenditure was involved.

Mr. Lyttelton

One factory, costing £118,397, has been built by the Government for war production by the firm concerned. In addition, the Government has spent £511,064 in adapting requisitioned and other factories not the property of the firm. The capital assets in all these cases remain the property of the State. The Government has also contributed £15,600 towards adding to and adapting the firm's own premises.

Mr. Burke

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether this firm has contracted to make Portal houses; and, if so, why this firm, whose ordinary shares are held in America, should get so much consideration? Are there no smaller English firms which could get a look-in?

Mr. Lyttelton

The question of pressed steel houses has been discussed here. There is little capacity in the country capable of making them, and this is one of the firms that can do so.