§ 7. Colonel Lyons
asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been drawn to the number of persons in factories where programmes have been modified who are not fully engaged in essential work; and whether, in view of this fact, he proposes to cease or alter the call-up of further personnel for industrial purposes.
§ Mr. Bevin
The modification of programmes is bound to result on occasion in local and temporary under-employment, but in general the supply of labour remains and is likely to remain substantially below the numbers required for all essential purposes. In the circumstances, no substantial relaxation is immediately possible.
§ Sir Herbert Williams
Has the Minister been around those factories where about 50 per cent. of the people are doing nothing to-day?
§ Mr. Bevin
It is quite true that in certain cases, when production is being changed from one thing to another, or when there are cuts, there is slowing down, but I do not think that the extent of it ought to be exaggerated. I have to bear in mind that when you break up a labour force, it is very difficult to get it together again.
§ Mr. George Griffiths
Has the Minister time to go prying around factories, like the hon. Member for South Croydon (Sir H. Williams), in order to find faults?