§ Mr. ALDEN
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the serious shortage of bricks in nearly all parts of the country; that brickmakers are consequently refusing to supply bricks at the prices stated in the recently published Report on materials; and whether, in view of these facts, the Government will take steps to open up brickfields that are at present closed with a view to securing an adequate supply at reasonable prices?
My right hon. Friend is aware that there is at present a shortage of bricks in many parts of the country and he is informed that bricks are not always available in the quantities required at the prices which are recorded as the normal market prices. If the Housing Bill at present before the House is passed there is every prospect that in view of the assured demand for a long period a considerable number of manufacturers will carry out extensions of plant and will re-open and refit works which have been closed down. As my hon. Friend is aware, it is proposed in the Building Materials (Charges and Supply) Bill to take powers to deal with unreasonable prices.