Royal Ordnance Factories.

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

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I would make one other reference to certain things that might be overlooked. When a factory has got into production and is running nice and smoothly there is a tendency to think that we ought not to disturb the smooth tenor of the way. That may lead to inefficiency, and I have had criticism from some whom I am sure the Minister of Supply would recognise as experts that in certain ordnance factories there is a tendency to take more man-hours for the production of certain articles than would be required if they were properly tooled up. There is still too much hand-work, even where girls are being employed. I suggest there ought to be a comparison between some of the other factories and the Royal Ordnance factories to test up the man-hours on certain jobs, but that involves going into details and could only be done over a considerable period of time. Generally, I should like to pay a tribute to the work which has been done, which I think is a very great credit to the resourcefulness of this country and its citizens. Factories have sprung up where there were only fields before and have become great hives of industry. Instead of failing to accomplish the task set them they have so far overtaken their job that for the first time the Government have been criticised for having done more than they ought to have done and not less.