HC Deb 18 December 1945 vol 417 cc1119-20
93. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware that in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland the completion of houses is being delayed for lack of painters, because the contractors are using their men on private contracts; and if he will take steps to ensure that priority is given to housing.

Mr. Buchanan

Yes, Sir. The completion of some 200 temporary houses throughout Scotland, including about 14 in Edinburgh, has been delayed for lack of painters. Twenty painters have been transferred to the Edinburgh housing scheme, where the position is now satisfactory; and additional painters will be transferred as soon as possible to work on the temporary houses elsewhere. With regard to the second part of the Question I would refer the hon. Member to a statement made on the 13th December by my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Labour, as to the use of the power of direction in the building industry.

96. Major Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the indignation throughout the building industry in Scotland at the slow and insufficient releases of building labour from the Services under Class B; what representations he has made to the Service Ministers on this subject; and with what result.

Mr. Buchanan

The rate of release under Class B of building labour in Scotland has been greatly accelerated, and I am circulating in the Official Report figures showing the monthly releases since June, 1945. My right hon. Friend is satisfied that the Service Departments are co-operating to the fullest of their ability.

Major Lloyd

Does that mean that the hon. Gentleman is satisfied with the system of Class B releases in the building trade because, if so, he is the only person in Scotland who is satisfied?

Mr. Buchanan

I was asked a Question about the rate of release. I am publishing a very detailed list showing each month separately, and it reveals a considerable improvement. Anybody who knows me, however, knows that I am never satisfied about anything, any more than the hon. and gallant Gentleman.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden rose

The following are the figures referred to:

To 20th July, 1945 12
20th July, 1945, to 20th August, 1945 138
20th August, 1945, to 20th September, 1945 414
20th September, 1945, to 20th October,1945 775
20th October, 1945, to 20th November, 1945 1,551
20th November, 1945, to 12th December, 1945 (22 days) 1,338
Total 4,228