§ MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that boys are being discharged from the Woolwich, Enfield, and Waltham Abbey factories upon reaching the age of twenty-one; whether there is sufficient work in hand to justify the retention of these employees; and, if so, whether, in view of his promise that the staffs would be reduced to the minimum of wastage, he will have these discharges stopped.
§ * THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE WAR OFFICE (Mr. ACLAND, Yorkshire, Richmond)
I regret that it is not at present possible to re engage boys who reach the age of twenty-one, as men; for the reason that there is not sufficient work to justify such engagement. As soon as it becomes possible to make fresh engagements of men those who have been trained in the factory as boys will naturally have a first claim on reaching the age of twenty-one.