Electricity Authority Building

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th May 1951.

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Photo of Mr Alfred Bossom Mr Alfred Bossom , Maidstone 12:00 am, 29th May 1951

asked the Minister of Works if he has yet considered the application of the British Electricity Authority to erect a building in Southwark which exceeds the Building Act limitations and which, if laid out in flats, would be capable of housing several hundred families; and if he will refuse to issue a licence for this until the housing situation in that area is relieved.

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

A licence was granted in November last on the recommendation of the Ministry of Fuel and Power. I do not know precisely what Building Act limitations the hon. Member has in mind, and I am not, of course, responsible for their enforcement, but I understand that the London County Council have granted some dispensations in connection with this building.

Photo of Mr Alfred Bossom Mr Alfred Bossom , Maidstone

Is the Minister aware that approximately 1,000 tons of steel are being used in constructing these offices? Is it not a fact that if all this material and labour were used in the construction of housing accommodation it would provide homes for many hundreds of people, which would be a far more important and valuable service to the community?

Photo of Mr George Brown Mr George Brown , Belper

I cannot agree that those considerations follow.

Photo of Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite Lieut-Commander Joseph Braithwaite , Bristol North West

In any case, would not the money be better spent on the improvement of the electricity plant and equipment than upon the erection of grandiose offices?