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Building Restrictions

Volume 465: debated on Monday 16 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Works whether, in view of the plentiful supply of building materials to be seen at the British Industries Fair at Castle Bromwich, he will consider a relaxation in the near future in building restrictions.

The present order under Defence Regulation 56A prescribing the financial limits above which a building licence is required expires at the end of June. The action which will then be necessary is at present under consideration, and I am not yet in a position to make a statement on this subject. But I would point out to my hon. Friend that the supply of building materials is only one of the factors to be considered and that, in any case, supplies of some building materials, notably softwood, are by no means plentiful.

In view of the fact that the buyers are so satisfied with the quality of the products and have expressed themselves in that manner, will my right hon. Friend give serious consideration to the relaxation of the regulations that exist?

I said that the prices and the supply of the materials is not the main factor to which I have to give consideration. What I have to give consideration to is the use to which the materials are to be put and the labour to be employed in using them.

Does the Minister agree that the materials supplied for the organisation of the British Industries Fair at Castle Bromwich are to the profound advantage of the export trade of this country?

In view of the dislocation that must ensue in the building industry from the Minister's indecision in this matter, will he give the House an assurance that he will make up his mind as soon as possible?