HC Deb 19 June 1967 vol 748 cc1092-3
3. Mr. Hilton

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what is his estimate of the effect of the trend towards prefabricated systems of house building on the future need for bricks and bricklayers; and whether he will initiate discussions with all the parties involved about future requirements.

Mr. Prentice

The demands placed upon the building industry require not only the increasing use of industrialised building but also higher output by traditional methods. Bricks and bricklayers will be needed for both. The Economic Development Committee for the Building Industry is considering this subject in the context of the manpower and materials situation in the industry as a whole.

Mr. Hilton

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that, in spite of what he says, the number of bricks in stock today is abnormally high and that the number of bricklayers is declining? As these people have responded in the past to appeals from the Government to help the Government's programme, should not some Government assistance be given to help them plan their future?

Mr. Prentice

Stocks of bricks are still abnormally high, but the numbers have fallen a great deal recently. There was a considerable reduction in the stocks in April compared with those in March.

Mr. Channon

Will the Minister also examine the effect of S.E.T. on bricklayers?

Mr. Prentice

The incidence of S.E.T. is continually under review.