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Agricultural Workers' Cottages (Building Contracts)

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 24 March 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works whether he has considered the protest sent to him by the Gloucester and South Midlands Area of Building Industry Distributors that, in the contracts for the construction of houses for agricultural workers, it is specified that certain materials are to be supplied by named firms outside the area; and, as this is unfair to local firms who have these materials in stock, will he amend the contracts so as to give local builders' merchants the opportunity to supply materials required in their areas?

I received yesterday the protest to which my hon. Friend refers. I am making inquiries and will write to my hon. Friend in the course of the next few days.

Can the hon. Gentleman endeavour to ensure that local materials are used wherever possible? It will be very much appreciated all over the country.

While not anticipating the reply which I will give to my hon. Friend the Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) I can assure the hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. Bossom) that local materials are being extensively used. I rather think this is a question of bulk purchases and of getting them into the locality and distributing them from the places of manufacture.