asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works whether he can give any further information on the long-term programme of construction referred to in the recent White Paper on training in the building industry; and what plans are now being drawn up?
My Noble Friend has for some time had in hand the collection and co-ordination of all the available requirements and proposals for building, repairs to buildings, construction, and reconstruction after the war. For this purpose he has established a special section in the Ministry of Works which, in conjunction with all Government Departments concerned, including the various controls of materials, will prepare a comprehensive national programme in terms of labour, materials, cost, time and geographical location. On the basis of this survey it will be possible to take the necessary decisions as to works of first importance and the allocation of materials and labour and to set up any machinery necessary to secure that the post-war building programme is developed, and carried out, as smoothly and expeditiously as possible.
While I thank my hon. Friend for his full reply, will he inform the House when he expects to be able to give an outline of this plan to the House?
I can give an assurance, if my hon. Friend requires it, that the matter is being really actively pursued. There will be no delay, but to the question about the exact time when we shall be able to make a report to the House, I cannot give a reply.
Does this include control of prices?
What is being done now to make arrangements to provide bricks, so that there will be plenty of bricks ready when the time comes to build houses, which cannot be built without bricks?
The answer to that question, which relates to one commodity as far as building is concerned, is that my Noble Friend has taken steps to see that every brick-works which is temporarily closed down because of the concentration of the industry is adequately provided with every facility possible to maintain all machinery, boilers and so on ready for action, so that at any time when they are asked to go into full production, they can start off straight away.