Building Operatives.

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing. – in the House of Commons on 1st March 1922.

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Mr. T. THOMSON:

43.

asked the Minister of Health the total numbers of building operatives employed on the various local authorities' housing schemes on the following dates: 1st October, 1st November, 1st December, 1st January, and 1st February?

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

The total numbers of men employed on housing schemes of local authorities and public utility societies on the dates mentioned were as follow:

1st October138,334
1st November134,200
1st December125,344
1st January116,599
1st February101,235

These figures are exclusive of the men employed on houses being built with the aid of the private builders' subsidy. The hon. Member must bear in mind that during winter months it must be expected that the volume of employment in the building trade will ordinarily be reduced.

Mr. THOMSON:

Seeing that those figures clearly show that all available labour for building houses is not being utilised, will the right hon. Gentleman sanction the application of local authorities for further houses to be built where labour is available, and thus redeem the Prime Minister's pledge that not a single house less would be built owing to the change he was making?

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

I am at the present time sanctioning more houses in various localities where it can be shown to me that the necessity exists, and prices are reasonable. I am glad to find that local authorities are assisting me very much in the policy of trying to get prices reduced by not asking for any large number of houses to be built.