Royal Ordnance Factories.

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 5th August 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Arthur Colegate Mr Arthur Colegate , The Wrekin

I am very glad to hear it. I am sure that most of the recommendations which are practicable are dealt with effectively by the Government Departments concerned, and that is assured by the Minister's speech to-day. That does not detract from my point that the Committee deal with a vast number of matters, some of small detail, and that we do not necessarily know what action has been taken. The hon. Member has herself supplied me with evidence, of which I had not heard and I do not think anybody has, that that recommendation has been satisfactorily dealt with. Some of the Committee's Reports are adopted and some are not, and the ordinary Member of the House has no assured method of knowing how the Reports are dealt with except by Reports issued at long intervals showing what action has been taken. By that time the Reports are out of date.

It is essential, in view of the remarks that are sometimes made on these Reports, that the country should understand that the Ministry of Supply and the Ministry of Production have achieved one of the most remarkable industrial miracles that could be imagined. We have now an enormous outflow of production, and in spite of the difficulties under which it has been done the work has proceeded with a speed and, indeed, a regularity which are much greater than might have been ex- pected. There have been blitzes, and there will undoubtedly be blitzes again, and it is essential that there should be surplus factories and room in the hostels in case workers' homes are destroyed. That being so, an attempt should be made to get the public to see things in their proper proportion and to see that a vast amount of production is being turned out under conditions which reflect great credit on all concerned. By that I do not mean so much the Ministries as, more particularly, the managers and technical staffs in the factories. They have had a terrible task and very little praise, and some of them feel that their efforts are insufficiently appreciated. Therefore, this Debate serves a very useful purpose if for no other reason than that it puts things in their proper proportion and enables us to see that the work, with suggestions here and there which are being adopted, is going forward on a scale which is essential in order to supply the Forces with the things that they require.