§ 30. Major WILLIAM MURRAY
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that there is increasing distress and unemployment among ex-service men hitherto employed at Gretna factory and living in that locality; and whether he will consider if any steps can be taken to secure temporary employment in the factory for these men until the future use to which the factory will be put has been finally decided upon?
§ Sir A. WILLIAMSON
I do not think that the number of ex-service men formerly employed at His Majesty's factory, Gretna, who are now out of employment can be considerable. 33 per cent. of the total number of employés at present at the factory are ex-service men. I am afraid that there is little prospect of absorbing much additional labour at the factory as the existing employés are sufficient to cope with peace-time requirements for cordite. This factory is not adapted for alternative work on any considerable scale. The question of the future of Gretna is at present receiving close consideration.
§ 41. Major MURRAY
asked the Secretary for Scotland whether a number of ex-service men resident in Gretna have represented to him that they have been waiting for a long period for settlement in small holdings upon Government land in that neighbourhood; and whether he will now instruct the Board of Agriculture for Scotland to carry through a scheme of settlement upon the land in question?
§ The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Mr. Munro)
I have received from my hon. and gallant Friend a copy of a letter addressed to him which contains a representation of the nature referred to in the first part of the question. As regards the second part, I am informed that the negotiations in connection with the proposals to which I referred in my reply to my hon. and gallant Friend on 30th March last have reached an advanced stage. I hope they will be concluded at an early date.