§ 3. Mr. H. Stewart
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what assistance he has offered to local authorities with a view to providing alternatives to concrete flooring in houses, in view of the universal objection by local authorities and the people to the prohibition of timber flooring in new housing schemes; and what action he proposes to take where local authorities defy his prohibition and, acting upon high legal advice, proceed to build timber floors where they can do so without exceeding the quota of two standards of timber per house.
§ Mr. Buchanan
I propose to issue shortly some advice to local authorities on suit-32W able coverings for use with concrete flooring. I regret, however, that during the present acute timber shortage, concrete ground floors must be accepted and any further savings which it is possible to make must be additional to this basic economy. With regard to the latter part of the Question, the amount of two standards per house is not a quota but a maximum, and my Department will authorise only so much timber as is required on the basis that the ground floors are constructed in concrete. Apart from this, before Exchequer contributions are payable the local authority must, in terms of the conditions of grant imposed under the Statute, certify that the houses have been constructed of materials approved by the Secretary of State.