asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings why the provisions of the Essential Work Order are not applied to all those building trades operatives still employed on clearing bombed sites, which have already been made safe and contain no valuable salvage, and_ send them to those building operations imperatively needed for the war effort?
The application of the Essential Work (Building and Civil Engineering) Order to the sites referred to is unnecessary and inappropriate for the purpose which I assume my hon. Friend has in mind, since adequate steps can be taken outside the provisions of that Order by my Department, in co-operation with the Ministry of Labour and National Service, to secure that building labour is used to the best purpose in the war effort. The policy in regard to clearance of bombed sites is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Home Security.
That is another question. My hon. Friend asked me why the Essential Work Order was not applied to these jobs. I said that if it was applied, the men would be fixed there so that they could not be moved.
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings whether his Ministry has caused to be taken a reasonably complete census of the existing building trade employers and also of building trade operatives, both skilled and unskilled, now in the building industry?
Yes, Sir. All persons carrying on building and civil engineering contracting undertakings were registered on the 1st October last, and a return of operatives both skilled and unskilled employed in these undertakings was obtained last month. The results are now being tabulated and classified
Could my hon. Friend be frank about this matter? There are so many men needed for each contract so that the work could get along properly. How many are missing at the present time?