HC Deb 19 February 1952 vol 496 cc20-1
20. Mr. Norman Dodds

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will make a statement on the prospects for increased supplies of timber, cement and bricks for housing in 1952.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

I am working closely with my noble Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Works and have every reason to believe that these materials will be available for housing in increasing quantities.

Mr. Dodds

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that the information he has measures up to the optimism expressed in the Election?

Mr. Macmillan

I do not know what the hon. Member means by "measures up" I feel we shall make progress and am not so much concerned with this part of the problem as with many other sides of it.

Mr. Martin Lindsay

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the widespread feeling that brick production is far too low in brickyards inherited by the National Coal Board, due to the fact that no one in the National Coal Board knows anything about brick production? Will he consider having an independent examination of this question by one of the well known producers of bricks in private industry?

Mr. Macmillan

I am working closely with the Minister of Works, who is primarily concerned, and I feel hopeful that brick production will rise.

Mr. Arthur Lewis

When the Minister says that he has reason to hope that conditions will improve, can he give facts and figures to support that view?

Mr. Macmillan

I do not understand the purpose of the hon. Member's question. Does he hope that the housing policy will fail?

Mr. Lewis

Am I entitled to answer the Minister's question? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] May I ask another question?

Mr. Speaker

Mr. Storey.

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