HC Deb 08 July 1948 vol 453 cc565-6
38. Mr. Roland Robinson

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that, following the decision that building repair work could be permitted up to the sum of £100 per annum free of building licence, the Timber Control has refused to continue the small allowance of timber given to builders and contractors for day to day repairs and is now insisting on the necessity of application for licences for timber with full details against definite work only; and what are the reasons for this decision.

Mr. H. Wilson

Yes, Sir. It has been found by experience that a better distribution of the available timber can be secured by issues against actual orders. A licence can however be obtained against a group of orders covering three to four weeks ahead.

Mr. Robinson

Does not the right hon. Gentleman's decision that a licence should be required for these small repairs cut across the recent authority given by the Minister of Health that repairs can be done up to £100 without a licence?

Mr. Wilson

No, Sir, that decision was taken having regard to the supply of timber available for this kind of job. Something like 44 per cent. of the soft wood allocation for civil use is used on these kinds of jobs.

Mr. Vane

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Timber Control is considered inefficient and extravagant by all those who have to deal with it—builders and such like—and will he look into its entire operation?

Mr. Wilson

No, Sir, I am not aware of that. The Timber Control has been responsible for great national savings during the last two or three years.