28. Mr. McNeil
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, of the 1,000 houses authorised in the Spring of 1943 how 1604 many are occupied, how many completed but not occupied, how many roofed over and how many are still at later stages of construction; and the comparable figures for the 1,000 houses authorised in the Spring of 1944.
§ The Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. T. Johnston)
The figures asked for are as follow:
1943 Programme Occupied … 155 Completed but not occupied … 5 Roofed over or at later stages … 410 Not yet roofed over … 372
Despite the acute shortage of building labour I am informed that all the local authorities who received an allocation under the 1944 programme have started building. One of the unfortunate causes of retardation is that it has been felt necessary to assist in the repair of flying-bomb damage in the South. 2,300 Scots craftsmen are there engaged.
1944 Programme Occupied … 7 Roofed over or at later stages … 4 Not yet roofed over … 619
While I appreciate the point that my right hon. Friend has made about the transfer of labour to meet the flying bomb damage, may I ask him to explain why, apparently, some 370 houses, authorised more than 20 months ago, are still not roofed over?
Is my right hon. Friend suggesting that the flying bomb emergency had anything to do with this 1943 programme?
§ Mr. Johnston
No, Sir. It was the retardation of the 1944 programme to which I was referring, in relation to flying bomb activity.
Would it not have been better, if there is such a shortage of labour, to have completed the 1943 programme before starting the 1944 programme?
§ Mr. Johnston
It is obvious that flying bomb damage did not arise until the 1944 programme had been started.