HC Deb 22 July 1964 vol 699 cc455-6
5. Mr. Clark Hutchison

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what encouragement he has given to the use of Scottish stone in the construction of buildings in Scotland.

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Gordon Campbell)

Earlier this year my right hon. Friend restated by Circular the recommendation to local authorities that greater use should be made of stone in public building in Scotland and announced a relaxation in the conditions under which subsidy can be paid. Allowance for the use of stone is made in approving tenders, and in certain circumstances extra subsidy can be given when the cost of housing is increased by the use of stone.

Mr. Hutchison

Will my hon. Friend tell the House that he will not stop public authorities from using stone simply on the ground that it is a little more expensive than other materials? What are the prospects of stone being used in England for this purpose?

Mr. Campbell

In considering tenders submitted to him by local authorities, my right hon. Friend makes allowance for a reasonable extra cost of using stone. For example, authorities are aware that where the use of stone for school building involves excess over the common cost limits he is prepared to approve the excess as a special cost up to a limit of 1 per cent. of the common cost. We should welcome orders from England, but my right hon. Friend is not responsible for the Ministerial aspect of that.

Mr. McInnes

Would the Minister indicate the extent of the additional cost where stone is used for the building of houses?

Mr. Campbell

As I indicated, there is this additional amount, and the Circular explains that it will no longer be necessary to establish that the site of the house is of exceptional historic or architectural interest or of outstanding natural beauty.

Mr. McInnes

There is no extra subsidy in regard to the ordinary council house building where the house is built of stone.

Mr. Campbell

The hon. Member has misunderstood the position. There is an allowance for an extra subsidy where the conditions can be satisfied.

Mr. Rankin

How much?