69. Brigadier Clarke
asked the Minister of Labour in view of the reductions on the administrative side of His Majesty's dockyards set out in the Navy Estimates, what steps he is taking to find alternative employment for those affected, with particular reference to Portsmouth.
§ The Minister of Labour (Mr. Isaacs)
The machinery of the employment exchange service is designed to assist in placing in other employment workers who register when they have to leave their present job, and this will be used to the full. I understand that some of the reduction has already been effected, and that a sudden large scale reduction on the administrative side to the revised figure is not contemplated, but the immediate absorption in Portsmouth of workers who become redundant cannot be expected.
Is the Minister aware that there are over 4,000 unemployed in Portsmouth now, and that these additional reductions will cause great hardship?
§ Mr. Isaacs
We are aware of the situation in Portsmouth, but this change has been necessary owing to circumstances and the employment exchanges will do what they can to find other employment. I thought it right to point out that there is not much opportunity in Portsmouth itself. It may mean that they may have to go to other areas.