HC Deb 14 October 1915 vol 74 c1451

asked the Minister of Munitions if he is aware that a number of fitters and turners in South Africa volunteered to come to this country to make munitions; that they were brought over at the expense of the Government; that some of those men are now employed by the United Alkali Company at Fleetwood; that they are not employed on munition work; that they have the opportunity of employment at a munition works but that the company refuses to release them; and whether he will take steps to secure the release of these men so that they may be employed on more urgent work?


My right hon. Friend has made inquiries into this matter, and he is informed that the men in question are engaged in work necessary for war purposes, namely, preparing and improving plant for the manufacture of chemical products required for munitions. The question as to whether the men referred to are engaged on work corresponding to their skill is being inquired into further.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that only 50 per cent, of the men employed by that firm are on Government work?


Yes, I believe that is correct.