asked the Minister of Labour whether he will in future inform the Ministry of Works and Planning of the exact number of operatives available for any particular building operation, and so allow of a building programme being started strictly in accordance with the number of operatives available to carry it out?
No exact forecast can be made of the numbers of operatives becoming available from time to time from various sources to meet the progressive needs of building operations. Transfers of operatives are made as required in accordance with the relative urgency of the operations.
While I fully appreciate the difficulty of this situation, does not my right hon. Friend think that it would be better if he would look into this matter and allow or allot the number of men that will be available for each job so as to enable it to be completed on time rather than allow another job to be started and neither of them to be completed on time?
That is a matter, I suggest, for the Ministry of Works and Planning and the Service Departments which deal with the actual allocation of contracts. My duty is to supply the labour, and I have to try to supply it at such a rate and at such a time as to get the contracts completed to meet strategic requirements.
If I give my right hon. Friend at least one dozen important jobs of this type where they are waiting for labour and have been delayed in consequence, would he mind giving consideration to this suggestion?