HC Deb 02 June 1919 vol 116 cc1715-6W

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will consider the ad- visability of instituting national brickfields in various parts of the country to fulfil the triple purpose of supplying bricks at a price which will enable a serious start to be made on the housing problem, to provide direct employment for some of the discharged and demobilised sailors and soldiers at present unemployed, as well as indirectly, employment for a large number of men in the building trades?


The price at which the Government obtains bricks shows only a reasonable margin of profit to the makers and no substantial saving could be made by putting the yards under Government management. The reason why more housing schemes have not been started is not to be found in the want of bricks, or the price of bricks. The Ministry has placed orders for 839,500,000 bricks and 250,000,000 are now stacked and waiting for use.

Major GLYN

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he intends to put into effect the promises made in paragraph 6 of the Scottish Local Government Board Circular, Housing and Town Planning No. 1, dated 12th February, to supply local authorities with a list and description, with dimensions, of the standardised articles used in the provision of houses; whether he is aware that the lack of this information has been one of the chief difficulties that have prevented local authorities proceeding with the erection of houses; and whether he will at once take steps to issue this list either in whole or in part, and add any information known to the Scottish Office concerning the existing stocks and location of bricks, quarried stone, iron and steel girders, slates, etc.?


A Circular dealing with the supply of materials for State-aided housing schemes is at present with the printers, and will be issued to local authorities in a few days together with lists of prices. In the Circular local authorities are asked to communicate direct with the Director of Building Materials Supply, 90, Princes Street, Edinburgh, on all subjects relating to the location, etc., of existing stocks. I am not aware that schemes have been delayed through the lack of this information. All questions relating to materials which have been submitted to the Scottish Local Government Board by local authorities were immediately disposed of by a special official and advance copies of the Circular and lists of prices were supplied.