Non-Essential Production.

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort. – in the House of Commons on 26th March 1942.

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Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will consider issu- ing an order prohibiting the use of labour in the production of commodities of any kind not essential for the war effort?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

This is a matter in which my Department works in close consultation with the Board of Trade, arrangements for the withdrawal of labour being made in conformity with restrictions placed on production.

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

Does the right hon. Gentleman think it a very sensible matter to allow labour to be used for producing articles which are not necessary for the war, while another Department is wasting millions of man-hours persuading people not to buy those articles, and could not the said labour be better employed than in producing non-essential articles or wasting time on War Savings Campaigns?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I am satisfied that the methods adopted in the carrying out of the concentration of industry are the correct ones. After all, even during a war, some communal life has to be carried on if morale is to be maintained.

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

But is it a good policy to continue to use labour—

Photo of Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy Lieut-General Edward Fitzroy , Daventry

The hon. Member was asking his original Question. He cannot repeat it.

Photo of Mr Alfred Edwards Mr Alfred Edwards , Middlesbrough East

I am asking whether it is right to use man-power to produce unessential goods, and use more man-power in another Department to persuade people not to buy them?