Building Schemes.

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing. – in the House of Commons on 15th March 1922.

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Mr. TREVELYAN THOMSON:

39 and 43.

asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he is aware that the total number of men employed on State-assisted housing schemes fell from 138,334 in October to 101,235 in February; what further steps he proposes taking so that all available unemployed labour may be fully utilised in building houses which are still most urgently required;

(2) whether, having regard to the fall in the cost of houses to about £400, he will now sanction the requests of local authorities to build more houses where both labour and materials are available, even though this involves the erection of more than the limited number of 176,000 houses fixed last year?

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

These questions raise issues with which I dealt fully in the course of the Debate on Monday evening, and, as I then explained, I do not propose, in view of the large amount of work in hand, to ask the House to agree to any general extension of the housing scheme. There is, however, a small margin of the 176,000 houses in hand which I am using to sanction the erection of further houses by local authorities in special cases.

Mr. THOMSON:

Will the right hon. Gentleman reply to the last part of Question 39, where I specifically ask if he will see that houses are sanctioned to employ fully all available labour in the building trade?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

I observe that the hon. Member himself took several pages of the OFFICIAL REPORT a day or two ago to put that very question.

Mr. THOMSON:

I did not get a satisfactory answer.