asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the sum licensed by his Department for the extension of the head quarters of the Midlands Electricity Board at Mucklows Hill, Halesowen, in the county of Worcester; and the quantities of steel, timber, bricks and cement that will be required for that extension.
A licence for work costing £59,000 was issued by my predecessor. The British Electricity Authority estimate that when the work is completed it will have required 139 tons of steel, 5.1 standards of timber, 410,000 bricks, and 245 tons of cement.
May I ask the Minister whether he heard the Minister of Works say five minutes ago that top priority should be given to housing? Could not these officials and clerks have been put into Nissen huts, so that these materials could have been devoted to the 2,000 homeless families in Kidderminster?
No, Sir, I understand that my right hon. Friend spoke of cement only. These officers, who are serving the nation, were scattered before in 27 different places, and in the interests of administrative economy and efficiency they must be united at the headquarters.
Surely that does not prevent the British Electricity Authority using Nissen huts, instead of expensive permanent buildings.