HC Deb 14 February 1973 vol 850 cc1282-3
33. Mr. Mason

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the current state of supply of bricks.

Mr. Channon

Overall demand and supply are now approximately in balance.

Mr. Allason

Can my hon. Friend explain how it is that developers are being quoted nine months to a year for supplies of facing bricks?

Mr. Channon

I would be grateful if my hon. Friend would give me details. I have been assured by the builders and brickmakers that there is no national problem, although there may be a few local ones. For example, the London Brick Company, which produces about 45 per cent. of the country's bricks, removed all restrictions on the acceptance of orders in December, and bricks are currently being delivered against orders being placed four to eight weeks ahead.

Mr. Fernyhough

Can the Minister explain why in recent months we have been importing bricks from the Continent?

Mr. Channon

I am saying that at the moment demand and supply are approximately in balance. Earlier last year there were local shortages, and some delays in obtaining bricks. This is not a national problem now, although there may be isolated examples of shortages in respect of specialist bricks which take time to obtain.