HC Deb 23 May 1946 vol 423 cc505-6
10. Mr. O'Brien

asked the Minister of Health how many permits the Dover Rural District Council have granted for work in the St. Margaret's Bay area; and how many workmen are involved by the sanctions for that work.

Mr. Bevan

I understand that 29 licenses issued by the Dover Rural District Council for work in the St. Margaret's Bay area are still operative, and that the number.of men engaged on the licensed work is 70.

12. Mr. O'Brien

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that at least 30 skilled workmen are now engaged in carrying out repairs and alterations at a house called The Hermitage, St. Margaret's Bay, Dover, recently purchased by Mr. Clarence Hatry; that resentment is caused in Dover and elsewhere at this use of so many workmen for a private purpose when war damage repairs and the building and rehousing programmed need all available labor; and if he will make inquiries to ascertain if the number of workmen employed at The Hermitage is justified.

Mr. Bevan

Inquiries have been made and I am informed that a licence was issued by the Dover Rural District Council on 13th March for repairs to this house costing £500. On Monday morning, when one of my officers visited the site, six skilled men were employed on this work. I am having further investigations made.

Mr. O'Brien

May I ask the Minister if he can justify 17 men working on the garden of this house and another eight on lowering the cliff path in order that passers by might not oversee into the garden, and will he consider further inquiry into this particular matter?

Mr. Bevan

In answer to the first part of the question, I am under no obligation to justify it, because I did not undertake the work, but I will certainly undertake to investigate it. I am informed that there has been quite a considerable amount of exaggeration, and that a great deal of this work that lies outside the £500 is work upon which men are engaged in repairing war damage.