asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that certain carpet-weaving factories in Scotland have been employed on making blankets; that at present these factories are working part time and that some of their skilled female labour is being sent to England; and what steps he is taking to ensure that, when these factories are again called upon to work full time, they will be in a position to fulfil his orders?
I am aware that certain carpet factories have been producing blankets. These factories are discontinuing production on carpets for which no materials have been released for some months. In the distribution of further orders for blankets these factories will receive consideration, so that some part of their immobile labour may continue to be employed. I am glad to say, how-ever, that a number of these factories have already turned over to direct munitions work. The question of the transfer of the skilled labour is one for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour. As in other industries, to which concentration has been applied, the Ministry of Labour will facilitate the return of the transferred workers to their former employment after the war.