HC Deb 05 March 1963 vol 673 cc194-5
27. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what further research is now being carried out into houses and flats produced in factories or built-up from factory-made components.

Mr. Rippon

Apart from the work that is being undertaken by the construction industry itself, research and development studies are being carried out by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the Building Research Station of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and within my own Ministry. Prototypes of the more promising new systems developed abroad and in this country are in preparation or under construction.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Will my right hon. Friend make it clear whether his Department is actually to do any research, or simply to co-ordinate the efforts of other Departments and research institutes?

Mr. Rippon

My responsibility is for co-ordinating all building research and development work throughout the Government service. My Department will carry out its own projects, but we will have a machine whereby the results as a whole can be looked at. My Directorate-General of Research and Development will carry out some research of its own while co-ordinating and extending the activities of existing groups, and it will encourage and develop generally the use of new and rapid methods of construction.

Mr. Manuel

Did the Minister say whether his researches are being extended into the use of stocks of existing building resources? Is it his intention to marry those resources to the industrial techniques which he hopes to get from the use of shipyards and so on, and to see that development is not so one-sided that it causes unemployment in the more traditional industries?

Mr. Rippon

I appreciate that point. We want to make full use of traditional resources and we shall do so. We hope that the new methods will provide a bonus.