HC Deb 08 April 1965 vol 710 cc665-6
Q6. Mr. Corfield

asked the Prime Minister what are the responsibilities of the Minister of Land and Natural Resources in regard to ensuring that there are adequate supplies of sand and gravel to meet the needs of the construction industry.

Mr. George Brown

I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Land and Natural Resources gave to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Alfred Morris) on 8th March. The economic survey of mineral resources will include sand and gravel.

Mr. Corfield

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, when my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Thames (Mr. Boyd-Carpenter) put down a Question to the Minister of Land and Natural Resources, responsibility was accepted for the availability of sand and gravel, but that when I put a Question on that subject it was transferred to the Minister of Public Building and Works? This is very confusing. Can the right hon. Gentleman help us by telling us the dividing line and whether there is any particular object in it?

Mr. Brown

I am sorry the hon. Gentleman got confused. We will try to unconfuse him. I will look at what he has said.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to see that the local authorities are given full powers to ensure that sand pits are left in the condition they should be, particularly in east Cheshire?

Mr. Brown

That is a totally different question. It would be better if the hon. Gentleman would put it down on the Order Paper.

Mr. Costain

The right hon. Gentleman referred to the fact that one Minister has a very big load of responsibility. Does not he appreciate that we are trying to ascertain what is the load on the other Minister involved? Our inquiries suggest that he has no load at all and this is what worries us.

Mr. Speaker

Order. We are concerned only with the load on one Minister, and then only in so far as it consists of sand and gravel.