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Agricultural Workers

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 13 May 1943

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asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the shortage of farm cottages in the district of Framlingham, Suffolk, and whether he will take steps to see that this area receives an adequate quota of cottages in the recently announced programme?

I am aware that there is a serious shortage of cottages for farm and other workers in most parts of the country. As I explained in the Debate in this House on the 4th May, however, the number which can be built at the present time is strictly limited owing to even more urgent calls on labour and materials'. The 3,000 cottages to be built under the emergency scheme have been allocated by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture to those districts where they will be of most use in con- nection with increased food production. Twelve cottages have been allotted to the Blyth rural district in which Framlingham is situated and it has been left to the rural district council and the war agricultural executive committee to decide in consultation on the sites on which they should be built.

asked the Minister of Health whether he will help rural district councils to hasten the completion of the 3,000 houses in the 3,000 rural housing scheme by arranging with the Ministers of Agriculture, Planning and Works for the simplication of the present cumbrous system of Departmental references and permits?

Any scheme of building in war-time must necessarily involve several Departments, but great pains have been taken to relieve local authorities from having to deal with a number of agencies. The senior regional architect of the Ministry of Health acts as liaison officer and is responsible for informing all other Departments who have to be consulted so that local authorities do not have to approach them direct. Inspections of sites are carried out simultaneously by the regional representatives of the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Planning so that all points can be dealt with at the same time. It is difficult to see what mole can be done to simplify procedure but any suggestions by my hon. Friend will be fully and sympathetically considered.