HC Deb 26 April 1948 vol 450 cc11-2
32. Mr. Marples

asked the Minister of Works how many buildings are being erected by the Ministry of Works Mobile Labour Force; what are the types of buildings; what are the estimates of the final cost; and have competitive tenders been used to check the cost of the work.

Mr. Key

As the answer to the first three parts of the Question involves a number of figures, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate a statement in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The cost of the work done by the Mobile Labour Force is checked wherever practicable against prices prevailing for competitive tender for similar work.

Mr. Marples

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what percentage of this work carried out by the Mobile Labour Force has been checked by comparative tenders, and what percentage has not been checked?

Mr. Key

I could not give those figures off hand, but the general arrangement is to check each of the items concerned.

Mr. Gammans

Are private firms asked to tender, or is this a sort of glorified cost-plus arrangement?

Mr. Key

In nearly all cases the work of the Mobile Labour Force is done where there is a great dearth of labour in the locality concerned—and much of the work is done in remote areas—or where contractors have failed to submit tenders for the work in question.

Following is the statement:

On 30th March the Mobile Labour Force was engaged in erecting the following buildings or works; the estimates of final cost are:

Type. Number. M.L.F. estimated final cost.
New traditional houses, including roads, sewers and all services 107 268,086
Erection of prefabricated houses 343 397,070
Totally destroyed dwellings 619 1,020,093
Hutted sites for school meals and classrooms 29 204,851
Temporary office building sites 9 1,467,375
Employment Exchanges 1 87,268
Constructional work on Government Factories and Research Establishments 9 2,226,070

These estimates do not include the cost of prefabricated components.