Employment exchanges do all they can to persuade building workers to take housing work where they are most urgently needed. Local authorities are encouraged, particularly in areas where building labour is inadequate for local needs, to use non-traditional methods of house-building, which require a minimum of labour, especially skilled labour, on the site. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a circular on this subject that I addressed to all local authorities last March.
But is the right hon. Gentleman aware that where there is demand in contiguous areas there is some danger of bargaining—of enticing and attracting workers by his financial arrangements? Does he not in some instances make provision for travel? Has it not the effect, in the case of non-traditional contractors, of abstracting men who could be more usefully employed building houses, instead of travelling, say, two or three hours in a bus to their work?
How does the right hon. Gentleman reconcile his original answer with what is taking place in the City of Stoke-on-Trent, where houses are required not only for normal needs but also for thousands of miners who are being transferred from other parts of the country to a Development Area? In view of the most urgent need for attention to be given to the problem there, will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to give his personal attention to this special case?