HC Deb 08 May 1951 vol 487 cc1733-4
6. Mr. Vane

asked the Minister of Local Government and Planning when he expects to be able to relax the restrictions on the amount of softwood used in each new house.

Mr. Dalton

Not until we have increased our stocks.

Mr. Vane

Does the right hon. Gentleman's reply mean that there is not sufficient timber on the market, or simply that we have not been able to get it; because the Secretary for Overseas Trade said in this House not a month ago that we were purchasing in Canada all we required?

Mr. Dalton

Supplies of Canadian softwood will be the highest since the war and sufficient to cover defence requirements as well as the civil building programme. On the other hand, stocks have fallen uncomfortably low and we must build them up. A soon as we have done so, we shall be only too delighted to give a further allocation to housing.

Mr. Bossom

Does the right hon. Gentleman attempt to buy any softwood from Germany? If he goes from Strasbourg to Stuttgart he will find quantities of wood waiting to be purchased for building. Has he considered supplies from that part of the world?

Mr. Dalton

My Department is aware of that.