HC Deb 16 July 1964 vol 698 cc1408-9
13. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Power what is the most recent statistical information he has as to the current brick output of the National Coal Board; and how this compares with the same period last year.

Mr. Peyton

205 million bricks between January and May this year, as against 187.5 million in the same months of last year.

Mr. Boyden

In view of the shortage of bricks and the reluctance of private brick makers to invest more in the industry, would the hon. Gentleman consider making available to the National Coal Board more capital so that it can increase its already rising production of bricks to alleviate the shortage?

Mr. Peyton

Brick production as a whole is not a matter for me. I am afraid that I could not hold out any promise to furnish the National Coal Board with the funds for which the hon. Gentleman has asked. It may interest him to know, however, that the Board has recently announced the construction of a new plant at Desford, at a cost of £900,000, to produce 50 million bricks a year.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that the National Coal Board has made a good job of this brick making?

Mr. Peyton

With great help from the Conservative Government, the national Coal Board has done very well in this field.