§ 3. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Minister of Public Building and Works how many building trade operatives are unemployed; and what steps he will take to provide them with work.
§ 13. Mr. Heffer
asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what plans he has to reduce unemployment in the building industry.
§ Mr. Amery
In June of this year 93,718 persons were unemployed in the construction industry. The overall prospects are bound up with those of the economy as a whole. Meanwhile my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government is seeking to stimulate demand for house improvements through the local authorities. My Department is encouraging the industry to renew its efforts in this direction.
§ Mr. Allaun
The right hon. Gentleman must realise that that is not good enough. Will he press his Ministerial colleagues to take the brakes off house building, both private and council, so that the unemployed and ill-housed may both benefit?
§ Mr. Heffer
Will the right hon. Gentleman follow the lead given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Deptford (Mr. John Silkin) and discuss the whole matter with the builders? Secondly, will 215 he press ahead with discussions with his right hon. Friends on the abolition of S.E.T. at the earliest moment? Thirdly, will he see to it that the maximum assistance for house building is given to local authorities? Fourthly, will he follow up the suggestion of giving financial help to all small builders so as to get building going again?