HC Deb 18 December 1962 vol 669 cc1058-60
9 and 10. Mr. R. W. Elliott

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works (1) how many factories for the manufacture of industrialised houses will be sited in the north-east of England;

(2) if he will give an estimate of the number of jobs created by the production of industrialised houses.

Mr. Rippon

There is a limited amount of production of industrialised housing at present, but it is too early to forecast either the location of new factories where industrialised housing may be produced or the number of jobs likely to be created.

Mr. Elliott

I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply. Will he do his best in discussion with his right hon. Friends concerned to encourage as much of this new form of production as practicable to be sited in the north-east of England, which needs new forms of production? Does he agree that the probable large amounts of timber which will be involved in the production of industrialised houses can probably enter the country most easily through our East Coast ports from Scandinavia and that this should help to keep down the eventual end cost of the industrialised house? Does he agree also that this will serve to knock out the long-haul argument which has been so often used in the past in connection with the North-East?

Mr. Rippon

I certainly share my hon. Friend's sense of urgency about this. All these kindred matters are being given a high priority by my Ministry in consultation with other Departments concerned.

Mr. Slater

Can the Minister tell us where this limited industrialised development is taking place in the North-East?

Mr. Rippon

There are a number of Questions later referring specifically to the North-East. This is a general question. All I can say is that in consultation with my colleagues at the Treasury and other Departments we are considering how the additional public investment programme which my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced can be channelled to the North-East and similar areas.

Mr. Mason

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether and to what extent he has been approached by the Secretary of State for War regarding the speedy production of industrialised houses to satisfactorily solve the housing problem in B.A.O.R., whether he is co-operating, where such industrialised houses will be produced, and, especially in view of the protest of my hon. Friend the Member for Sedgefield (Mr. Slater), whether this can be done in the North-East?

Mr. Rippon

This is a matter on which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War has answered Questions in the House. We will be concerned through my new Director-General of Research and Development in giving assistance in this way.