7. Mr. Edward M. Taylor
asked the Minister of Public Building and Works if he will make a statement on the availability of bricks in Scotland.
§ Mr. John Silkin
I have nothing to add to the statement I made on 21st May in answer to a similar Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Rutherglen (Mr. Gregor Mackenzie).—[Vol. 784, c. 106.]
To which planning organisation should we credit the remarkable achievement of a glut of bricks in England and a pretty desperate shortage in Scotland? Has the right hon. Gentleman noticed that there has been a sharp decline in building starts and completions in Scotland in the first few months of the year? Will he look into this matter as one of great urgency?
§ Mr. Silkin
I think that the hon. Gentleman has his facts slightly wrong. In fact, the shortage of bricks in Scotland relates only to the central belt, which is due to internal factors. Some brick makers have been unable to maintain full production through shortages of labour, because the labour has gone into other industries.