HC Deb 29 May 1951 vol 488 cc1-2
1. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Works if he has yet considered the application of the British Electricity Authority to erect a building in Southwark which exceeds the Building Act limitations and which, if laid out in flats, would be capable of housing several hundred families; and if he will refuse to issue a licence for this until the housing situation in that area is relieved.

The Minister of Works (Mr. George Brown)

A licence was granted in November last on the recommendation of the Ministry of Fuel and Power. I do not know precisely what Building Act limitations the hon. Member has in mind, and I am not, of course, responsible for their enforcement, but I understand that the London County Council have granted some dispensations in connection with this building.

Mr. Bossom

Is the Minister aware that approximately 1,000 tons of steel are being used in constructing these offices? Is it not a fact that if all this material and labour were used in the construction of housing accommodation it would provide homes for many hundreds of people, which would be a far more important and valuable service to the community?

Mr. Brown

I cannot agree that those considerations follow.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

In any case, would not the money be better spent on the improvement of the electricity plant and equipment than upon the erection of grandiose offices?