HC Deb 21 November 1949 vol 470 cc32-3
60. Mr. Austin

asked the Minister of Works what is his policy in regard to the issue of building licences to applicants from the dollar area.

Mr. Key

For industrial buildings the support of the appropriate Government Department would be required in the normal way. As regards office buildings, with the present restrictions on capital investment, my Department will be able to allow very few in any case. Applications will have to be judged on their merits and, although the investment of dollars would be a favourable factor, there would have to be other very strong reasons as well.

Mr. Austin

In the light of that answer, will my right hon. Friend say whether the allegation made by Mr. Eric Johnston that a four million dollar project would have to wait four years for the necessary building licence was true or untrue? Will my right hon. Friend, in any event, circulate in America, through the British Information Service, the information he has just given to the House?

Mr. Key

So far as the distribution of the information is concerned, that will fall to people other than me. So far as the statement which is alleged to have been made is concerned, it certainly was not true.