HC Deb 21 June 1960 vol 625 cc207-8
29. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Works if he will cause an investigation to be made into the brick situation, in view of the long-standing shortages of bricks that there have been for some considerable time, which are hampering the building trade.

Lord John Hope

No, Sir. I am keeping in close touch with suppliers and users and the manufacturing industry is making great efforts to meet the high demand. Deliveries so far this year have been a post-war record.

Mr. Dodds

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is estimated that 8,000 million bricks are required this year, and that brick production will be nowhere near that figure? Is he also aware that many builders say that even by placing orders now they cannot get bricks before November or December unless they pay black market prices? Will not he have an investigation to find out the facts before it is too late?

Mrs. Castle

My hon. Friends have been raising this matter for many months now, and the right hon. Gentleman has given us another complacent reply today. Is it not his Ministerial duty to see that the supply of bricks is adequate? Is it not wrong of him to hand over responsibility for discharging that duty to the brick-making industry, which is reaping record profits out of the shortage?

Lord John Hope

I do not know whether or not it is reaping record profits, but it is producing a record number of bricks. That is a matter for pleasure, I am sure, to the hon. Lady and her hon. Friends, just as it is to me and my hon. Friends.

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