The demand for building work will be affected directly by the restrictions on public spending and the extension of building controls and indirectly by the other economic measures. I cannot at present estimate the net result of the measures as a whole. But I hope that one effect will be to improve progress on important programmes such as housing, industrial building and work in development areas.
Will the Minister take the opportunity to announce plainly whether building societies will be permitted to raise mortgage rates on existing mortgages from their present level on 1st October, as a freeze there could have a catastrophic effect on their reserves and, in consequence, on next year's housing programme?
I am not sure how that point arises from the Question. It is not one for me to answer. The hon. Member's remark will be noted, but he will not expect me to reply.