Building Materials (Cost).

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing. – in the House of Commons at on 12 April 1920.

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Photo of Mr Samuel Finney Mr Samuel Finney , Stoke-on-Trent Burslem


asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the difficulties municipal authorities are encountering in carrying out housing schemes owing to the high cost of construction, as estimated by the officers of the Ministry of Health; whether applications have been made to the Ministry of Health to take the necessary steps to enable the municipal authorities to obtain the materials required for the erection of houses, especially bricks, cement, timber, paint, &c., at such reasonable prices as will enable them to erect houses at a cost which will justify the letting thereof at rents which the tenants can afford to pay and also respectfully urging His Majesty's Government to immediately institute an inquiry into the origin of these abnormal prices, with a view to securing their abatement where possible; and whether he can indicate the intentions of the Government respecting the same.

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Shoreditch

I am aware that the housing problem is being complicated by the high prices of materials, and I have received a number of resolutions from local authorities on this subject. The whole question of the cost of building materials is still being investigated by sub-committees appointed under the Profiteering Act.

Photo of Mr Noel Billing Mr Noel Billing , Hertford

When does the right hon. Gentleman expect to receive the report of the sub-Committee. And does he propose to appoint a general Committee to deal with wholesalers irrespective of the local dealers?

Photo of Dr Christopher Addison Dr Christopher Addison , Shoreditch

I think there is a general Committee which deals with large wholesalers. I will inquire as to when the report of the Committee may be expected.