Cotton Industry.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 17th March 1942.

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Photo of Sir Robert Cary Sir Robert Cary , Eccles

asked the President of the Board of Trade, whether he has any information to give the House about the progress made in the expansion of the Lancashire cotton industry?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

The nucleus mills in the cotton-spinning industry have for some months been unable to work to full capacity, owing to shortage of labour. Although there has been some improvement in production since the introduction of overtime at the end of January, there is still a great need for operatives. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply and I are in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour as to the further steps which should be taken to bring production up to the required level.

Photo of Sir Robert Cary Sir Robert Cary , Eccles

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the number of spindles brought back into operation and the number of work people re-engaged?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

I could not give those details without notice, but I understand that permission has been given to re-open two mills since 6th January. If my hon. Friend will put down a Question I will give further particulars.

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

Will the right hon. Gentleman consult the Department to see whether it is possible to bring low graded men in the Forces back to the mills?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

I will consider that. But the Service Departments are never very happy at suggestions of that kind.