HC Deb 16 December 1948 vol 459 c1371
36. Mr. Dumpleton

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that building firms in the city of St. Albans have indicated to the local authority that their available labour force could deal with 264 houses in the first six months of 1949, whereas the total allocation made to the council for the period is only 120; and whether he will increase the allocation to 264.

Mr. Bevan

I am always ready to review allocations in the light of actual progress but the St. Albans builders would first have to make a greater effort to secure the contracts available. Up to now, the council have had to let nearly half their allocation to outside contractors because the local firms were unable or unwilling to compete.

Mr. Dumpleton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it would be much more possible to obtain continuity of progress in the housing scheme if there could be some certainty of allocations in order to place contracts?

Mr. Bevan

There is sufficient certainty about enough contracts to provide for continuity. I do not know how far ahead the hon. Member wants continuity. If he wants it for the next three or four years, it is more than I know myself.