HC Deb 24 July 1950 vol 478 cc13-4W
94. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware that the high price of imported cement is increasing the cost of house building; that the present estimated delivery of home produced cement is 22 weeks; and whether, in view of these facts, he is prepared to stop the export of cement until the home demand is satisfied.

Mr. Stokes

No. I do not think that the imports of cement can be having any appreciable effect on the cost of house building since they are mostly being brought in under special arrangements providing for sale at the same price as home produced cement. I am not aware of delays in delivery so serious as is suggested by the hon. Member, and I should not regard the extreme course of a stoppage of exports as justified.

Mr. De la Bère

asked the Minister of Works whether he is aware that the contractor for 36 houses at Powick and eight houses at Madresfield, Worcestershire, will have to cease work unless further supplies of cement are forthcoming; and if he will take immediate steps to have this position rectified.

Mr. Stokes

The circumstances had not been reported to my Department. I have, however, made inquiries, and I understand that a load is being despatched on 24th July.

Mr. Robson-Brown

asked the Minister of Works if he will state the main user categories of cement in 1948, 1949 and the early months of 1950, showing the quantities consumed by the principal classes of users, including house-buildings and exports.

Mr. Stokes

There are no statistics of the quantities of cement delivered to particular classes of user in these periods. The total production and the amount exported have been as follows:

Total Production Exports
1948 8,520,969 1,551,314
1949 9,215,507 1,838,816
1950 (five months) 3,871,714 758,577