HC Deb 26 November 1953 vol 521 c502
12. Mr. Grimond

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what effect the new proposals for the repair of houses will have on the amount of the national income estimated to be available for productive investment.

Mr. Maudling

Productive investment should be unaffected by these proposals. For several years now there has been a steady decline in the output of the building repair labour force. The new proposals should allow building repair resources to be used more fully and should lead to increased productivity.

Mr. Grimond

Taking account of the labour and materials used in repairs and in building new houses, does the hon. Gentleman say that there will be no additional demands put upon the building industry?

Mr. Maudling

The White Paper on the subject says this: We cannot expect to devote, at least at the start, a substantially larger share of our resources to the housing programme in this new form than it enjoys today.

Sir J. Crowder

Would my hon. Friend consider asking his right hon. Friend to allow the joint stock banks to lend landlords money for the urgent repairs which will be required when the new Housing Bill is passed?

Mr. Maudling

That is a very different question, which will need a good deal of thought.

Mr. Gaitskell

In view of the fact that the Minister of Housing and Local Government has spoken of a steadily expanding building labour force, how does the hon. Gentleman explain the consistency of that statement with what he has said this afternoon?

Mr. Maudling

This Question, and the answer I have given to it, were concerned with the productivity of the building labour force, which seems to be a very good thing to increase.