HC Deb 17 October 1950 vol 478 c1863
22. Mr. Manuel

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to procure timber for the completion of houses in the county of Ayr.

Mr. McNeil

The procurement of timber is, of course, the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, and I am assured by him that on present indications supplies will be adequate to maintain the housing programme in Ayrshire and elsewhere. In addition, Timber Control have been informed of the difficulties that still exist about supplies of certain sizes and lengths of timber, and steps are now under consideration for increasing these supplies in relation to these lengths.

Major Lloyd

If it is true, as I gathered from the right hon. Gentleman's reply, that timber is no longer a great difficulty in Ayrshire or, one assumes, in Scotland, could the right hon. Gentleman say what it is that makes the people of Scotland so bitterly hostile to the Government over housing?

Mr. McNeil

About 20 years of Tory rule.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

While ignoring that ignoble gibe, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman to recall that he has given me frequent assurances in correspondence that adequate supplies of timber would be forthcoming for housing in Ayr? Is there any particular reason why these assurances have not yet been implemented?

Mr. McNeil

I think the hon. and gal-land Member is being a little unfair. I have already agreed that there have been difficulties over certain lengths. We have taken emergency measures to meet the needs in regard to those lengths but, generally speaking, the softwood position in relation to housing in Ayrshire is satisfactory.