HC Deb 10 May 1948 vol 450 c1710
10. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Minister of Works whether he will make a statement about brick prices.

Mr. Key

Yes, Sir. As the House will be aware, the price of common bricks throughout the country has hitherto been controlled by statutory order. I have considered whether in present conditions this control can be removed. Maximum prices were originally imposed because of a serious scarcity of bricks. There is now an ample supply of bricks to meet the present demand, and even to meet a substantial increase in that demand. In these circumstances I have decided to revoke the Brick Prices Orders with effect from 17th May, 1948.

Mr. Marples

Did not the right hon. Gentleman give a pledge in writing to increase the maximum price of bricks and did he not fail to carry out that pledge?

Mr. Key

No, Sir, individually, I never gave such a pledge.

Sir Waldron Smithers

In view of the fact that hundreds of small brick manufacturers are holding large stocks for which the maximum price has been removed, what undertaking will the Minister give that they will be saved from financial loss owing to the folly of this Government?

Mr. Key

I do not see that the folly of this Government is evidenced by the supply of bricks available at the present time.

Sir W. Smithers

Will he not give some undertaking that those brickmakers will be protected from actual loss?

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