HC Deb 26 October 1944 vol 404 cc337-9
33 Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he has established any formula by which he will determine the priority of delivery of emergency factory-built houses to the different communities;

(2) whether he is yet ready to receive applications from local authorities for emergency factory-built houses and the approximate date he expects to deliver these so that local authorities may know approximately when they must have their roads and mains for water, sewage, electricity and gas ready;

(3) as he intends paying for the emergency factory-built houses by the same costing procedure as was employed in the payment of munitions, whether he will introduce the time-studying methods which produced such benefits in speed and costing, as in the case of filling factories.

Mr. Willink

A number of local authorities were asked on 15th August whether they wished to apply for an allocation of temporary bungalows and I hope shortly to make a first allocation, which will be accompanied by a memorandum of guidance of which I will send my hon. Friend a copy, dealing with the acquisition and preparation of sites, and other matters. It is anticipated that the production of the bungalows on a substantial scale will begin early next summer. Priority of delivery will be largely governed by the availability of developed sites. The costing procedure to be employed is a matter for my Noble Friend, the Minister of Works, who is giving it careful consideration.

Mr. Bossom

Will my right hon. and learned Friend read Question No. 34 and see if he can state any date, because no local authority can prepare roads and sewers and that sort of thing if they do not know when they are to get their houses? The difficulty of labour is well known to my right hon. and learned Friend, and surely, he ought to give guidance and help in the matter.

Mr. Willink

Perhaps my hon. Friend will await the memorandum, which he will receive shortly and which deals with that very point.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

Cannot the Minister speed up delivery before the beginning of next summer?

Mr. Willink

What I said in my reply was that we anticipate that deliveries on a substantial scale will begin early next summer, and I hope that deliveries on a smaller scale will begin before that date.

Mr. Kirkwood

The Minister talks about deliveries next summer, but are he and the House aware that there are tens of thousands of folk to-day all over Britain who have no homes? Why do not the Government face this problem in the same way as they face the Germans?

44. Mr. Parker

asked the Minister of Health whether the cost of providing temporary houses, particularly in bombed areas, is to be fully a national charge.

Mr. Willink

I would refer my hon. Friend to the statements made in the course of the Debates on the Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act.

36. Mr. Walter Edwards

asked the Minister of Health why the Stepney borough council are being allowed only 200 uni-seco huts instead of 500 as requested.

Mr. Willink

Local authorities were informed in the relevant circular that the huts available are of two types, and that of these the uni-seco would be supplied less readily than the other. In allocating 200 uni-seco huts to Stepney borough council out of a total request for 500, and the balance in the alternative types, I have done what I can to meet the council's wishes without unduly prejudicing the claims of other local authorities.

Mr. Edwards

Can the Minister assure me that Stepney is being treated in exactly the same way as every other Metropolitan borough with regard to the allocation of these uni-seco huts; and would he be good enough to publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the allocations that are being granted to other Metropolitan boroughs?

Mr. Willink

I can give my hon. Friend the first assurance, but I am not sure, in view of the space that would be taken up by the details of these allocations, that publication is necessary; but I will let my hon. Friend know.

Mr. Edwards

We had information given with regard to the Portal houses, and surely this information with regard to the Metropolitan boroughs could be given?