Resources (Allocation)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Production – in the House of Commons on 14th October 1942.

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Photo of Mr Oliver Lyttelton Mr Oliver Lyttelton , Aldershot

Yes, Sir. The proposed measures are first, to spread the demand for power, transport, housing and, above all, labour, more evenly by transferring the key personnel and plant of selected undertakings out of the congested areas. Secondly, I propose a number of measures for dealing with firms whose use of scarce resources is wasteful. In some cases the remedy will consist of a rearrangement of work or of an improvement in management. In others we shall try to secure a more effective use of resources by grouping or by affiliation. Where all else fails we shall prohibit a firm from accepting further orders. This last is a serious step and will be taken only after exhaustive examination, in which the local knowledge of Regional Boards will be a safeguard against mistakes.

In all these measures I shall co-operate closely with my colleagues in charge of the Supply Departments, who are constantly engaged in dealing with various aspects of this problem. As a corollary to these measures, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade has amended the Location of Industry (Restriction) Order in such a way that it is now necessary to obtain a licence for any manufacturing undertaking coming into existence or changing the nature of its activities, whatever its size, and the previous exemption in the case of premises of less than 3,000 square feet has been abolished.