HC Deb 08 May 1916 vol 82 cc286-7
16. Mr. HOGGE

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether all deficiencies in labour required for Admiralty purposes have now been made good?


We are, of course, in continuous touch with all shops and yards doing work for the Admiralty, whether in Government or private establishments. The fortnightly reports we receive show shortages of labour specially adapted to shipbuilding. These are immediately reported locally to the Labour Exchanges and centrally to the Ministry of Munitions. Meanwhile, we are pressing dilution both in the Royal yards and in the private yards and shops, and to this end are working in the closest co-operation with the Labour Supply Department of the Ministry of Munitions and its Dilution Commissioners. As to this, generally, I should say that fair progress has been made in the introduction of women, in setting aside demarcation rules, in the employment of semi-skilled men on work hitherto performed by skilled men, who-are thus being set free to perform services which they alone can render, and in the recalling of skilled craftsmen from the Colours. But, undoubtedly, much more will be necessary in these several directions if output of munitions of war generally and the building and repairing of merchant ships are to reach their maximum with the utmost expedition.


How much has been made good since the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dundee made his charge in relation to this matter?


I am not aware that any charge has been made, but I cannot add anything to the answer already given.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give the names of the Dilution Commissioners?


Mr. L. Macassey is the chairman and my right hon. Friend the Member for the Blackfriars Division (Mr. Barnes) is, I think, a member, but I will send the hon. Gentleman the names.