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Building Manpower

Volume 480: debated on Monday 13 November 1950

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5.

asked the Minister of Works what is the total building force at the latest convenient date; and how it is apportioned to new house building, house repair, and civil engineering, &c.

The total building labour force at the end of September, 1950, is estimated to have been 1,068,000 operatives; 23.8 per cent. were engaged on new house building, 25.8 per cent. on house repair and 50.4 per cent. on all other work including civil engineering.

Could the Minister tell us whether this is less than the number last given as employed on house building, and will he reconsider this proportion and see that the operatives who should be building houses are directed into those quarters rather than into a mass of office and luxury building as at present?

I could not answer the first part of that supplementary question without some research, but I can assure the hon. Lady that, as far as possible, we get the necessary labour required for building houses and that whenever a report comes in to the effect that housing is being held up, we always take action.

Is the Minister satisfied with the percentage allocated to house repairs?

As the hon. Gentleman will no doubt know, maintenance is vitally important. If maintenance is let down, things always go wrong. I do not consider that any labour is wasted which is engaged on repairs.

10.

asked the Minister of Works the proportion of building manpower in Cardiff engaged on house building, maintenance and repair work and the construction of new offices, respectively.

The proportions of building manpower in Cardiff engaged on new house building, all maintenance and repair work and the construction of new offices at the end of October, 1950, were estimated to be 33.4 per cent., 40.6 per cent. and 2.6 per cent. respectively.