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Volume 440: debated on Thursday 17 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Health why, in his recent letter to housing authorities on the subject of imports of softwood, no mention is made of prospective purchases from British Guiana, British Honduras and other sources of supply in the British Colonial Empire; whether supplies are expected from these sources; and what are the estimated quantities involved.

The timber obtainable from the Colonial Empire is almost entirely hardwood, and no softwood suitable for housing is available from this source.

asked the Minister of Health what supplies of timber are available for house building; what supplies are to be imported in the near future and from which countries; and for how many houses he expects to have timber available for the 1947 housing programme.

Some 81,000 standards of softwood have been allocated for housing purposes in the current quarter With regard to future supplies, I would refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Trade in reply to a question by the hon. Member for South Aberdeen (Lady Grant) on 19th May. I cannot, however, anticipate the allocation of timber for housing in the last quarter of this year, nor the extent to which this timber will be used for houses in the 1947 programme.