HC Deb 01 July 1952 vol 503 c229
26. Mr. Edward Davies

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware of the drift away of bricklayers from North Staffordshire where housing labour is most urgently needed; whether he will review the position; and what action he proposes to take.

Sir W. Monckton

No, Sir. Inquiries which I have made reveal no evidence of any such drift.

Mr. Davies

Will the Minister take note that I am reliably informed by responsible trade union officials that as many as 250 bricklayers are leaving the district daily to go to neighbouring areas? Is he aware that this is a most serious matter in an area where we have to build hundreds of houses for miners, in addition to those for the ordinary industrial population? Will he consult with his right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing to examine the financial provision which makes this possible by providing subsidy and travelling allowances to people to go out of the district, thus encouraging them in the practice?

Sir W. Monckton

The supply of bricklayers is short in many parts. All the information which has come before me suggests that the drift is no greater here than elsewhere. Of course, I will examine any facts which are put before me.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Is the Minister aware that this is a developing mining area, that miners are to be transferred to it from all parts of the country and that it is the desire of the National Coal Board, in order to prevent friction and to maintain maximum output of coal, to provide houses right away? Is he aware that there are 250 bricklayers leaving between 6.30 and 8 in the morning each day? Will he ask the Minister to take steps in order to deal with that?

Sir W. Monckton

I will look into the facts.