Building Materials (Economic Measures)

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Building and Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1 November 1965.

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Photo of Mr Robin Chichester-Clark Mr Robin Chichester-Clark , County Londonderry 12:00, 1 November 1965

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works how the economic measures of 27th July will affect, for the period 1965 to 1970, the expansion in the production of building materials and components, investment by contractors in plant and equipment and on recruitment and training of manpower of all types.

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

The measures announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 27th July, 1965, do not alter the objectives set out in the National Plan. All sections of the construction industry recognise the need for expansion and investment to meet those objectives.

Photo of Mr Robin Chichester-Clark Mr Robin Chichester-Clark , County Londonderry

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the industry concerned has found very little encouragement in anything the Government have done so far? Is his right hon. Friend prepared to come to the Dispatch Box and say that no threat exists to the building construction industry and that the Government have set their face resolutely against stop-go, because that is what the Minister said on 20th November of last year?

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

We have given the building industry the confidence in its future expansion—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—it needs to make long-term plans for reinvestment in plant and equipment and for the recruitment and training of manpower.

Photo of Mr Eric Lubbock Mr Eric Lubbock , Orpington

How has it happened that we have gone so quickly from the severe shortage in the brick industry which existed earlier this year to the conditions of surplus which apparently obtain now?

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

There is another Question on the Order Paper which I will answer on that matter, but the stock of bricks now is still less than it was in September, 1963.

Photo of Mr Paul Channon Mr Paul Channon , Southend West

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works (1) whether he is satisfied that the building restrictions which he is now imposing will not result in a surplus of building materials; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he is aware that difficulties have been caused to the producers of building materials by the economic measures of 27th July; and if he will take steps to alleviate these difficulties.

Photo of Mr Paul Channon Mr Paul Channon , Southend West

Is it not a rather disgraceful situation that the Minister begged the brickmakers last year to increase production while at the same time, as a Minister and as a responsible member of the Government, he creates conditions in the industry which result in a lack of confidence as expressed in the National Plan and causes a surplus of bricks in the industry and a larger stock than has existed at any time for many years past?