§ 29. Mr. Lawson
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works what steps his Department is taking to assist local authorities in carrying out emergency repairs to houses in areas where there is bomb damage and a shortage of local labour to cope with it?
§ Mr. Hicks
I am glad to have this opportunity of informing the House that, by arrangement with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, the assistance of my Department is available to local authorities on request. A regional emergency works staff has been able to render assistance to local authorities by providing supplementary labour and materials for first-aid repairs. Labour is provided through the Works and Buildings Emergency Organisation and from the Department's directly employed men of the Special Repair Service. Where temporary shortages of materials occur the Emergency Reserve of Builders' Materials meets the deficiency. These arrangements, I understand, have been appreciated 1147 where additional assistance has been required.
§ Mr. Lawson
Do the local authorities take full advantage of this useful organisation for repairing houses?
§ Sir A. Southby
Will my hon. Friend bear in mind the advisability of making available to small local builders engaged in priváte enterprise sufficient labour and material to enable them to carry out such work?