HC Deb 04 August 1947 vol 441 cc962-3
18. Mr. A. Edward Davies

asked the Minister of Works what is the order of priorities for the available supplies of cement; and whether he is satisfied that the claims of housing have their proper place in the list.

Mr. Key

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Orpington (Sir W. Smithers) on 16th June last. Due consideration is given to housing.

Mr. Davies

Can the Minister indicate what he means by "due consideration is given to housing"? What is this working out at in terms of percentage or ratio of the supplies? One local authority is, I understand, getting only one-fifth of its previous supplies.

Mr. Key

The difficulty has been, up to the present, that we have had to make up for the great shortage of cement that occurred as a result of the fuel shortage in the early part of the year. I am given to understand that claims are now being met in increasing ratio.

Dr. Barnett Stross

Is the Minister aware that some local authorities can only build houses on bad land, subject to mining subsidence; and is he aware that, in such cases, a great deal of cement is needed for special rafts; and will he give proper consideration to those local authorities?

Mr. Key

Yes, Sir. In those cases, if applications are made to my regional officers of the district, they will see that they receive urgent attention.

Mr. Charles Williams

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is still an unnecessary shortage all over the country of this most important material?

Mr. Key

I do not know what the hon. Gentleman means by "unnecessary." There is a shortage of this material all over the country; that we know.