Bricks

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Building and Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st August 1966.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Miss Betty Harvie Anderson Miss Betty Harvie Anderson , Renfrewshire East 12:00 am, 1st August 1966

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he will now make a further statement on the current stockpiles of bricks.

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

Brick stocks at the end of June were about 815 million; a fall of about 50 million during the month.

Photo of Mr Donald Anderson Mr Donald Anderson , Monmouth

Will the hon. Gentleman realise the extent of public concern about this? This is the season when most building should be done, and bricks piling up in stockpiles cannot build the houses which are so badly needed.

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

Yes, Sir. My right hon. Friend is very conscious of the difficulties which this creates for the brickmakers and for everybody else. We are doing our best to try to find some solution to the problem.

Photo of Miss Betty Harvie Anderson Miss Betty Harvie Anderson , Renfrewshire East

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he will set out in the OFFICIAL REPORT a table showing the level of brick stocks at the end of every quarter since the cessation of hostilities in 1945.

Photo of Mr Donald Anderson Mr Donald Anderson , Monmouth

Will the hon. Gentleman draw this table to the attention of his right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government and ask him whether one or other Minister could provide the public with an explanation of how to translate the promised planning into houses? It is very difficult for Members, and still more for the public, to appreciate what is happening.

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

The table does not show anything very different from what happened in the past. For example, under Conservative Administrations in 1957, 1958, 1962 and 1963, there were considerable surpluses, and, worse, in the spring and summer of 1953, 1960 and 1964, there were serious shortages.

Following is the table:

QUARTERLY LEVELS OF BRICK STOCKS IN GREAT BRITAIN 1945–1966
Millions
YearAt end of first QuarterAt end of second QuarterAt end of third QuarterAt end of fourth Quarter
19451,1731,1871,157990
1946712379267270
1947379307259348
1948541542539515
1949448291190179
1950174115109166
1951214159146184
1952234180133145
1953114797599
1954184147140229
1955378233149188
1956330233203254
1957385316280385
1958593444350349
195941717792114
19601488990160
1961198122105213
1962378333303422
1963912567322263
19641888481115
1965151154233561
1966882815 (*)
* Provisional.

Photo of Mr Philip Goodhart Mr Philip Goodhart , Beckenham

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what representations he has received from the manufacturers of bricks on the need for extra credit to meet the cost of the stockpile of bricks.

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

The National Federation of Clay Industries raised this question with my right hon. Friend in 1965. He told them that no special credit facilities could be granted, and this is still the case.

Photo of Mr Philip Goodhart Mr Philip Goodhart , Beckenham

Does not the hon. Gentleman appreciate that throughout 1965 brickmakers' profits fell and that their bank overdrafts increased? How does he think they will get through this latest credit squeeze without having to cut back on production?

Photo of Mr James Boyden Mr James Boyden , Bishop Auckland

The situation is serious for them, but I do not accept that all brickmakers have shown poor profits. Many have shown quite reasonable profits.