HC Deb 05 March 1946 vol 420 cc171-2
73. Mr. Willis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to ensure an adequate supply of bricks for Scotland's housing programme

Mr. Buchanan

In consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Works, I am doing everything possible to increase production through the reopening of brick works which were put on a care and maintenance basis during the war, and by the expansion of works already in operation For this purpose, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary and I had a meeting recently with representatives of brick makers in the west of Scotland at which the urgent need for increased production was fully discussed and emphasised.

Mr. Willis

Will the right hon. Gentleman say how many of the brickworks which have been put on a care and maintenance basis still remain to be opened?

Mr. Buchanan

There is a fair number yet. There have been 16 fully opened, and they are producing a fair quantity of bricks. A number of others are in process of opening, and there is a small minority on which nothing so far has been done. My hon. Friend can take it from me that, if I have any power at all, I will do my best to rectify the position at an early date.

Mr. Kirkwood

Have all the brickworks round Coatbridge and Airdrie been brought into production?

Mr. Buchanan

There are two angles of the matter about which I am anxious. One is that we want bricks for houses, and the other is that I do not think there is anything defensible in having unemployed men and unemployed brickworks when houses are required. My hon. Friend may take it from me that, from both angles of housing and employment, I will press this matter as much as I can.

Mr. McGovern

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether Glasgow Corporation are contemplating opening any brickworks, and whether there will be any new brickworks in and around the Glasgow area?

Mr. Buchanan

So far as I know, no new brickworks in Glasgow are contemplated. My own view is that we want to utilise the present brickworks and make them 100 per cent. efficient and also reopen those which have been closed down. Meanwhile, it is a question of utilising the present brickworks and maintaining their production.