§ Sir P. Hurd
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of the difficulties of many rural district councils, as in the Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire, because of the shortage of experienced thatchers to do essential repairs to council and other houses; and whether he will take steps to retain sufficient of these skilled workers in each district?
§ Mr. Bevin
I have no reason to suppose that present arrangements regarding deferment of calling up of roof-thatchers have reduced the number of skilled workers in rural areas. As regards the Vale of Pewsey, I understand that skilled thatching work is concentrated in the members of three families, none of whom has been withdrawn either for military service or for transfer elsewhere.