§ Mr. Wakefield
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works what has been the shortest and longest time 706W taken from the decision being made to build prefabricated dwellings for agricultural key workers, for which his Department is responsible, and their fitness for habitation?
§ Mr. Hicks
Authority to build these dwellings as a matter of policy was obtained at the end of September last; but before contracts could be let there were discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture, war agricultural executive committees, local authorities and others with regard to type and situation. Individual sites had also to be found and agreed with the various authorities. When these preliminary details had been settled, the decision taken in December to review the whole Government building programme in relation to labour supply unavoidably postponed starting building for some six weeks. Thereafter the labour allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture did not permit of this programme being proceeded with at optimum speed in view of other requirements to which that Department attach greater importance. As I informed the hon. Member on 30th June last, the actual time of building varies between three to five months.