HC Deb 21 October 1952 vol 505 cc834-5
5. Mr. Roy Jenkins

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps Her Majesty's Government propose to take to achieve the bigger factory building programme for 1953.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Licences are to be issued for more industrial building, particularly for projects which will assist the balance of payments. The allocation of steel for factory building is to be raised, but it will still be necessary to adopt modern methods of construction which save steel.

Mr. Jenkins

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us whether this increased factory building programme is to be at the expense of other forms of building or is to be brought about by devoting a greater total of the national resources to the building industry as a whole?

Mr. Butler

There have, of course, to be adjustments in the total building programme to make this possible. As to the latter part of the supplementary question, the hon. Gentleman may be satisfied that the total building programme is within the scope of what I think the country can afford.

Mr. Bottomley

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how much this will interfere with the Government's housing programme?

Mr. Butler

The Government propose to go ahead with their housing programme and achieve results very much more remarkable for the families of Great Britain than those achieved by the late Administration.

Mr. Woodburn

Will the right hon. Gentleman keep in mind, when planning the programme, that there is still a great deal of apprehension about any cessation of factory building in Scotland in case unemployment develops still further?

Mr. Butler

I am glad that the hon. Member for Stechford (Mr. Roy Jenkins) asked this Question. Nothing is more important to our country than to develop factory buildings and to develop productive industry in the interests not only of exports but also of home employment.

Mr. Chetwynd

Will priority still be given to the Development Areas as a whole in this programme?

Mr. Butler

As the hon. Member knows, the Development Areas have special terms and their needs will certainly not be forgotten.