§ 3.6 p.m.
§ LORD WOLVERTON
My Lords, on behalf of my noble friend Lord Teynham, who unfortunately is ill, I beg to ask the Question standing in his name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what directions, if any, they have given, or intend to give, to local authorities to ensure that houses and schools should be constructed so that their plumbing is frost-proof.]
THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS (THE EARL OF HOME)
My Lords, I am sorry to hear that my noble friend Lord Teynham is ill. The Answer to his Question is as follows:
With regard to houses, Her Majesty's Government have issued advice in the Housing Manual, 1949; in Appendix G of the Technical Appendices to the Manual, which were issued in 1951; 846 and in the Circular No. 34/54 which was issued in April, 1954. Local authorities also have the benefit of two publications issued by the Ministry of Works—Postwar Building Studies No. 4, issued in 1944; and an advisory leaflet on lagging, issued in 1950. The Minister of Housing and Local Government is considering whether any further action can usefully be taken. With regard to schools, the Minister of Education has not given, and does not propose to give, any directions to local education authorities on matters within the competence of their own professional and technical staffs. The position in Scotland is similar.
§ LORD WOLVERTON
My Lords, I thank the noble Earl for his courteous reply. He will probably remember that this House had an important debate on this matter last year, in which there were reports of new houses and schools being unsatisfactory from the point of view of their plumbing. Would the Government do everything possible to remind local authorities again? I understand that it is largely a question of expense—sometimes, when these estimates get up to the Ministry, they are turned down.
THE EARL OF HOME
My Lords, as recently as April, 1954, local authorities were reminded in a circular. We in this country always seem to be taken by surprise by winter, but the local authorities have had a good deal of information.