HC Deb 01 December 1959 vol 614 cc982-3
10. Mr. Hoy

asked the Minister of Works if he is aware that shortage of bricks is holding up building work in some parts of the country; and what steps he is taking to deal with the problem.

Lord John Hope

I am aware that the exceptionally heavy demand for certain types of bricks has not been satisfied in full. Nevertheless, deliveries have been at a very high level and the amount of building work in progress—particularly housing—continues to increase. I have had consultations with the brickmakers who have stated that full production will be maintained during the winter months and that some increase in capacity can be expected. The situation will be further eased if there is flexibility in the use of alternative materials, if orders are placed well in advance, and if duplicate ordering is avoided.

Mr. Hoy

Arising out of that Answer, would the right hon. Gentleman say whether the pressure on supplies has had any effect on the price which has had to be paid by contractors so that they could receive the bricks they required?

Lord John Hope

No, Sir, there is no evidence of that. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the cost of bricks varies with the size of the order and the amount of handling and transport involved, and in some cases the difference in price is quite substantial.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Will the Minister emphasise to all concerned over the shortage of bricks that we have millions in Stoke-on-Trent and that we are ready to export them to any part of the country?

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