HC Deb 01 May 1947 vol 436 cc2170-1
76 and 79. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he is satisfied that the allocation of building materials as between materials required for building new houses and materials required for repair work in Birmingham give a sufficient quantity to repair work, in view of the large number of houses requiring repair in that city;

(2) whether he is aware that much waste of labour results in the inability of builders in Birmingham to obtain a permit for plasterboards for repair work; and if he will allow permits for plasterboards for repair work, in view of the fact that stocks of plasterboards for new houses are accumulating and cannot immediately be used.

Mr. Bevan

Production of many essential building materials, including plasterboard, has been much reduced by the exceptional winter conditions and, although I appreciate the volume of repair work outstanding in Birmingham and elsewhere, it is still necessary to conserve supplies for new houses and other priority work. I am not aware of any surplus of plasterboard over and above current requirements.

80. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Minister of Health what is the number of houses in Birmingham at present requiring repair.

Mr. Bevan

I regret that the information is not available.

Mr. Wyatt

Could my right hon. Friend take steps to obtain the information? I believe there is an exceptionally large number of houses requiring repair in various parts of the country.

Mr. Bevan

It would be very difficult indeed to define what is meant by "house" and what is meant by "repair." It would depend upon the standard applied to the house. Collecting information of that sort all over the country would involve an enormous amount of investigation.