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Hollow Clay Blocks

Volume 436: debated on Monday 28 April 1947

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asked the Minister of Works whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the position of hollow clay blocks in view of the fact that the production for housing is only about half the prewar capacity; and what steps are being taken to augment the supply.

Most of the blocks made before the war were of the non-load bearing type, for which there are suitable substitutes, such as breeze blocks, and in these circumstances, the rapid expansion of the clay industry during 1946 has tended to be in the manufacture of bricks, roofing tiles and other items for which alternatives are more difficult to find. Every effort is being made to expand the over-all production of the clay industry, and I have no doubt, if adequate fuel supplies are available, that there will be considerable expansion in the manufacture of hollow clay blocks of this type. Before the war, there was a considerable manufacture on the Continent of loadbearing hollow clay blocks. In the last year, my Department has undertaken a considerable amount of work in the location of suitable clay deposits and the preparation of plans, and I am hoping to promote the manufacture of similar blocks in this country.

Will the Minister consider pressing his right hon. Friend to see that adequate fuel is made available to the china clay industry, and not use the word "If?"

I can assure the hon. Member that I shall fight for all the fuel it is possible to get.