HC Deb 19 June 1972 vol 839 cc2-3
2. Mr. McBride

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he has examined the supply capacity of house building materials, other than bricks and building blocks, in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

This is kept under regular review. Supplies of most materials are satisfactory although builders must allow for some delay in the delivery of copper fittings and, to a lesser extent, in deliveries of cast-iron and joinery since stocks have diminished with increasing demand.

Mr. McBride

Is it not true that since I framed this Question there is an insufficient margin between the manufacturing capacity of bricks and concrete blocks and the requirements of the house construction industry? As a result of this, will there be an extension of the time limit in the house improvements scheme? Overall, is not this in itself, together with the other shortages known and admitted, a deterrent to starts and completions in the house building programme, both public and private sectors?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

When there is a period in which there is unbounded confidence in the building industry and improvement grants are being made at an increasing figure, there are bound to be short-term delays in some of the materials which the hon. Gentleman mentioned. But last Friday I had the honour of opening a new brick kiln in Aberdare, which is something that does not happen every day in Wales.

Mr. Cledwyn Hughes

While I take issue with the hon. Gentleman about his claim that there is unbounded confidence in the building industry in Wales, may I ask whether he is aware that there are complaints in Anglesey of a serious shortage of bricks, which is holding up house building there? Will he make inquiries?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

If the right hon. Gentleman will bring me details, I shall be glad to do so.