HC Deb 03 February 1970 vol 795 cc192-3
6. Mr. Murton

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what evidence he has received from the Federation of Registered House Builders regarding the expected state of housebuilding activity in the private sector in 1970; and what action he proposes to take in the light of it.

Mr. Greenwood

I have studied the annual report for 1969 of the Federation of Registered House Builders which clearly indicates the difficulties faced by housebuilders at present but which also sounds a note of guarded optimism in the section entitled "Future Prospects".

I refer the hon. Member to my speech in the debate on 29th January.

Mr. Murton

But would the right hon. Gentleman not agree that the building trade is going through as severe a recession as it has ever faced since the 'thirties, and that it is being crippled by rising costs? Does he still endorse the remarks of his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in 1964 that—

Mr. Speaker

Order. No quotations in a supplementary question.

Mr. Greenwood

I think that the hon. Member is taking rather too gloomy a view of the future. We had a long discussion on this last week; perhaps he would be kind enough to refer to the points which I made then.

Mr. Frank Allaun

Particularly in view of the country's improved financial position, will my right hon. Friend press the Chancellor to permit the banks to lend to building firms, not just in the neutral position but in the top priority, along with exports and agriculture?

Mr. Greenwood

I am happy to leave it to my right hon. Friend to decide when is the right time in the country's economic progress to take a decision of that kind.

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