HC Deb 14 June 1944 vol 400 cc1968-9
35. Sir Irving Albery

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works if the finish and fittings of the Portal bungalow inspected by many Members of this House are identical with those to be provided in the mass-produced houses; and, if not, in what respect do they differ.

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

The final decision by the Government on this factory made house has not yet been taken. The finish and fittings as finally approved in the model will be provided in the mass-produced houses.

Mr. A. Bevan

Before a decision is taken, will the House be given an opportunity of hearing what it is likely to be, and before money is spent on these houses will the hon. Gentleman seek the approval of the House of Commons to the design?

Sir H. Williams

Why has this bungalow deteriorated from the "Churchill" status to the "Portal" status?

Mr. Bevan

May I have an answer to my question?

Mr. Hicks

I could not give any guarantee that the matter will be debated in the House and that the opinion of every Member will be sought and a vote taken as to whether we ought to produce these houses.

Mr. Bevan

Is it not desirable that the House should he consulted upon the design of these houses before large sums of money are spent and a very undesirable house results?

Mr. Hicks

The only answer I can give is that well over 5,000 people have passed through the house, a cross-section of the community. Any number of representatives from organisations have been through. Eighty per cent. have been satisfied and less than 20 per cent. have put in suggestions which have largely varied according to each individual.

Mr. Montague

Would not the making of the improvements resulting from the criticisms add to the cost of the house?

Mr. Hicks

I should say in the main, yes. If the results of the criticisms were introduced they would add to the cost, and instead of it being an emergency house it would become a permanent house, which is not the object.

Sir I. Albery

What is the official designation of this building?

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