§ Mr. WATERLOW (on behalf of Mr. Wiles)
asked the Postmaster-General whether his attention had been drawn to complaints of short time being worked by the hands employed in the Mount Pleasant factory; and could he state whether steps could be taken to keep the factory more fully employed?
The HON. MEMBER
also asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that at the Bovey Place factory, in Islington, there are constant complaints of shortage of work; that, as a result, some men have been discharged and others are unable to earn a full week's wage; can he say what is the cause of this shortage of work; and what steps can be taken to keep the factory fully employed?
§ The POSTMASTER-GENERAL (Mr. Herbert Samuel)
I will answer these two questions together. I have given close attention to complaints of inadequate employment in these factories, and am endeavouring in various ways to secure a larger amount of work for them. I am not convinced that the factories are at present organised on the most economical lines, or that, apart from questions of wages, it would not be possible to reduce the cost of production of various articles. If such a result could be achieved it would not only admit of a saving for the State, but would also render it easier to secure continuity of employment for the staff engaged. In order that the matter may be fully investigated, I am appointing a Departmental Committee to hold an inquiry into the subject, of which my hon. Friend the Assistant Postmaster-General will be Chairman, and on which my hon. Friend the Member for East Hull will give me the benefit of his business experience. The other members of the Committee will be officers of branches of my Department which are in direct relation with the factories.