HC Deb 04 December 1919 vol 122 cc578-9
68. Mr. CLYNES

asked the Prime Minister whether he could state the terms of the assurance given by him during his recent visit to Woolwich on the unemployment question to the effect that the Arsenal would be developed as a railway centre for the construction of locomotives; and whether many other Government properties, established and extended during the War, could also be used in other centres for useful productive work and for reducing greatly the number of the unemployed?


During my recent visit to Woolwich I had the oppor- tunity of discussing the matter with the representatives of what is called the "All Grades Committee,'' with representatives of the Ministry of Munitions, and members of the administrative staff of Woolwich Arsenal. I also made personal investigations on the spot, with a view to seeing in what respects the Arsenal could be utilised for alternative work, and especially for the purpose indicated in my right hon. Friend's question. The question of the transfer of Woolwich and other Government establishments from war work to permanent peace work has been receiving the earnest and careful consideration of the Government.


May I ask for an answer to the remainder of the question? Will the right hon. Gentleman state who the Woolwich representatives were whom he met, and whether also, in the case of similar plant and machinery in other parts of the country, similar action will not be taken?


We are attempting to do it, I can assure my right hon. Friend. Even this morning I had to meet a Committee which is attempting to deal with a similar problem in the dockyards. I am very glad to be able to say that they have given a fairly satisfactory Report which, I believe, is satisfactory even to the representatives of these areas. It is a very difficult problem, and we are doing our best to solve it.

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