asked the Minister of Works what percentages of the available building and civil engineering labour force in each of the cities of Bristol, Coventry, Hull, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Southampton and Swansea are engaged on housebuilding, central reconstruction and repair and maintenance of existing premises, respectively.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that figures which he gave me only last week showed that only 50 per cent. of our labour power was being used on new houses or on repairs? Does he consider that 50 per cent. is too high a figure?
If my hon. Friend will look at the figures I think she will see that the answer I have given is absolutely correct. Records show that the number employed on new houses is higher than before.
The percentages of the available building and civil engineering labour force engaged on housebuilding, central reconstruction, and repair and maintenance of existing premises in the cities named in the Question were estimated to be as follows at the end of February, 1950:
|—||New Housing||Central Recon-struction (Blitzed Cities)||Repair and main-tenance of existing premises|
asked the Minister of Works what are the present proportions of the total building and civil engineering labour employed on construction of houses, B repairs and maintenance of houses, and on projects other than housing, respectively; and if he will give the comparative figures for February. 1949.
The present proportions of building and civil engineering labour employed on the construction of houses, repairs and maintenance of houses, and on projects other than housing are estimated to be respectively 24.2 per cent., 27.9 per cent. and 47.9 per cent. The comparative figures for February, 1949, are 23.6 per cent. 31.6 per cent. and 44.8 per cent.
The number of building workers employed in Stoke-on-Trent on the maintenance, repair and extension of pottery factories is estimated to be 709, and 732 building workers are engaged on the building of houses. Figures for skilled and unskilled workers are not separately available.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the figure he has given for workers engaged on the building of houses is appreciably smaller than for 1947? Would he consider what remedy is available for local authorities who find the labour is drifting away to more lucrative forms of work?