asked the Minister of Works how many building trade operatives there are in the City of Birmingham; and how many of these operatives are engaged in building houses, both for the municipality and private enterprise.
The number of building and civil engineering operatives employed by contractors in the City of Birmingham at the end of January, 1949, was estimated to be 15,500. Of these approximately 1,500 were employed on building new houses.
Is the Minister aware that I have figures, given to me within the last three days, of the number of building workers actually engaged on house building? Is the Minister satisfied that less than 25 per cent. of building trade operatives in Birmingham should be engaged on house building; and why are other people on work of an unnecessary character?
So far as the employment of building workers on housing work is concerned, much of that depends on the exercise of their power by the local authorities in granting licences for other housing work.