HC Deb 06 December 1920 vol 135 c1710
39. Mr. HURD

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the November monthly report to the Board of Trade from Somerset glove manufacturers, showing that, owing to German competition on a basis of prices far below the British cost of production, branches employing home-workers in the villages have been closed, while short time and unemployment in the factories of Frome and other towns are increasing; whether this Frome industry was created at great expense during the War upon Government encouragement as a permanent means of employment; and what action does the Government propose to take to obviate even greater loss and unemployment during the present winter?


I have not seen the particular report to which my hon. Friend refers (which I understand has not been made to the Board of Trade), but the position of the fabric glove industry has been constantly receiving the attention of the Government. I regret that I can add nothing to the statements already made in this House as to the legislation proposed to be introduced early next Session.


Will the right hon. Gentleman reply to the second part of my question? Does he not think that during the present winter some special obligation does arise to safeguard employment in this industry, seeing that it was created as a War-time industry, at the instigation of the Government, for national purposes?


We have only a little over two weeks before Christmas, and we cannot in the course of that time carry legislation of this character.