§ * MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he will state how many men have been discharged from or are under notice to leave Woolwich Arsenal since peace was proclaimed; and whether the men discharged or under notice are, in all cases, the extra men employed owing to the pressure of work during the war: and will he consider the possibility by a rearrangement of the orders for material and work of stopping the discharges.
§ MR. BRODRICK
One thousand three hundred and seventy-five have already gone on reduction since May 31 last, and about 1,000 are under notice to go. The men selected for discharge were those whom it was least desirable to retain, or whose work had actually died away. No practicable rearrangement of orders would stop discharges, as there is a general shrinkage of orders both for the trade and the ordnance factories. The heavy discharges now impending are due to the decision not to discharge men during the winter.