Oral Answers to Questions — Construction Industry Liaison Group

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th May 1975.

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Photo of Mr Michael Latham Mr Michael Latham , Melton 12:00 am, 7th May 1975

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will make a statement on the first meeting of his) Construction Industry Liaison Group on 24th April.

Photo of Mr Reginald Freeson Mr Reginald Freeson , Brent East

The Construction Industry Liaison Group had a wide-ranging discussion which included the prospects for the construction industry, the programming of public sector construction work, the publication of information about public sector programmes and the group's future programme of work.

Photo of Mr Michael Latham Mr Michael Latham , Melton

Did the Minister put any proposals to the group to deal with the projected fall in construction output this year of 7·5 per cent. following the actual fall last year of 7·9 per cent.?

Photo of Mr Reginald Freeson Mr Reginald Freeson , Brent East

I did not put specific proposals before the group. That was not the object of the meeting.

Photo of Andrew Welsh Andrew Welsh , Angus South

In what way did the Scottish Office participate in this liaison group meeting? In view of the previous Question, does the Minister agree that a Scottish construction liaison group is absolutely vital if Scotland's housing problems are to be solved?

Photo of Mr Reginald Freeson Mr Reginald Freeson , Brent East

The Scottish Office was not involved. It was a construction industry group meeting, which I chaired. No other Ministers were involved directly. Matters of devolution are not for me. They will have to be taken into account when decisions are made in the House.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

Is it not true that knowledge about the construction industry crosses national and international boundaries and cannot be seen only in Scottish and English terms?

Photo of Mr Reginald Freeson Mr Reginald Freeson , Brent East

I accept that this is a particular characteristic of the construction industry, probably more so than in other sectors of the country's economic activities. It would raise serious questions and queries if we proceeded along lines of establishing or trying to establish a separate organisation when the industry is nationally based across the United Kingdom.