Carpet Factories, Scotland.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 4th August 1942.

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Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

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?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

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.

Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

In view of the answer to a Question which I obtained from the Minister of Labour last Thursday, shall I have the support of my right hon. Friend in seeing that Scottish girls are not taken away to England?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

The Minister of Labour and I are often in contact on these matters.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Is the Minister aware that there is a very great surplus of blankets and that during the winter many men will be without sufficient blankets?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

If the hon. Gentleman will tell me where the surplus blankets are, I will take steps to get hold of them. I want to know.

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

Is the Minister aware that this factory has been put on short time because of the surplus of blankets?

Photo of Mr Hugh Dalton Mr Hugh Dalton , Bishop Auckland

If the hon. Gentleman will indicate to me where these surplus blankets are to be found, I will requisition them, if necessary.