Oral Answers to Questions — Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th March 1963.
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs, in view of his intention now to control or limit the construction of commercial, office and similar large buildings, what is his estimate of the increased number of building operatives and other workers who will in consequence be available in six and twelve months' time for the building of domestic accommodation, particularly in the London area.
As the object of the Government's policy is to get a better distribution of office growth over the whole of the London area and further afield, I would not necessarily expect a fall in the number of building operatives involved. Besides the main obstacle to be overcome in securing more housing for London is land.
Can the Minister say whether one of the objects of controlling and limiting the number and size of buildings is to enable a certain number of building operatives to be diverted for domestic purposes? Can the right hon. Gentleman say what is being done to make sure that this labour, when diverted, is used in that way?
As I tried to explain in my Answer, I do not think that this will result, since what the Government are trying to do is to get a better distribution of offices. If we want more housing, we must look to the building industry for higher productivity, and, over the years, more industrialisation.