HC Deb 15 November 1965 vol 720 cc656-8
8. Mr. Chichester-Clark

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he will give the figures for the value of orders of new work by contractors in the construction industry in August 1965 and the seasonally adjusted index figure for August 1965, taking 1958 as 100.

Mr. Boyden

The provisional figure is £218 million. The adjusted index 148.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

Are not those figures lamentable and is the Parliamentary Secretary not aware that if the Government's present policy in this matter continues—reinforced by building licences—the industry may find itself facing a quite serious situation?

Mr. Boyden

The answer to the second part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary is "No, Sir." The sharp fall in the figures in August must be taken to be the result of the July measures. These were intended to reduce the demands on the economy and to reduce the load on the construction industry, which had too much work in hand.

9. Mr. Costain

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works how many insured operatives aged 15 years and over, excluding administrative, technical and clerical workers and self-employed operatives, were employed by contractors in the construction industry in July 1964; and what was the equivalent figure for July 1965.

Mr. Boyden

1,151,000 in July 1964, and 1,121,000 in July 1965.

Mr. Costain

Does this drop in numbers not indicate that there is something wrong in the industry, which we were assured would expand? How does the Parliamentary Secretary equate the industry's expansion with this drop in figures?

Mr. Boyden

For a start, there are 4,000 fewer unemployed. There are also 10,000 more people in the categories which the hon. Gentleman excluded, which is making for very efficient production in the industry. There must be some men who transfer to factories producing industrialised building components.

10. Mr. Costain

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works if he will set out in the OFFICIAL REPORT the value of new orders obtained by contractors in the construction industry at current prices for each month of 1965; and what were the equivalent figures for 1964.

Mr. Boyden

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Costain

Could not the Parliamentary Secretary give an indication of what the figures show?

Mr. Boyden

In the first eight months of this year the total value of new orders held by contractors was about £2,066 million, at current prices, compared with £1,979 million in the corresponding period of 1964.

Following is the information:

Great Britain £ million
Total New Work
Date 1964 1965
January 258 245
February 232 252
March. 230 319
April 266 258
May 235 254
June 257 239
July 288 281 (P)
August 243 218 (P)
September 243
October 274
November 270
December 227
Total 2,993
(P) = Provisional.

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