§ EARL GREY
My Lords, I beg to ask His Majesty's Government for the terms of the new agreements made by Dr. Addison with the building trades to facilitate the erection of new houses, and whether they contain the principle of payment of contractors or others on the basis of cost plus a percentage of profit.
§ THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (VISCOUNT PEEL)
My Lords, the Ministry of Health have been in negotiation with representatives of the building trade with a view to making arrangements by which the erection of houses can be accelerated. Two forms of procedure have been discussed. The principal feature of the first is that representatives of the local authority, the local federated builders, and the housing commissioner meet together and arrive at an agreed price at which houses are to be erected, and that then the number of houses to be built under the arrangement is distributed to the builders in proportion to their resources. On the conclusion of such arrangement the individual builders will enter into contracts with the local authority, which will be for a lump sum, with variations for charges in the cost of material and labour. The second procedure is that which is authorised by Section 12, subsection (3), of the recent. Housing Act—namely, that builders holding partially developed land may enter into an undertaking with the local authority for the erection of houses to be bought with the land by the local authority. In this case the local authority would purchase the house at, a specified sum, a figure from which there is to be no variation except in the event of an increase in the rates of labour. Neither of the arrangements contains the 253 principle of payment on the basis of cost plus percentage of profit.