§ 24. Lord H. CAVENDISH-BENTINCK
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that of the present 268 moil employed in the ordnance workshops at Chilwell 31 are under notice of dismissal for the 30th, and that the remaining 214 will be discharged on or before 1st October; whether, in view of the fact that the majority of these men have spent the greater part of their business lives in the Army or Army Departments and have, therefore, very little experience in civilian business, special efforts are being made to find these men employment under the War Department; and if he will state how far these efforts have been successful in the case of men already dismissed from Chilwell?
§ Mr. WALSH
I am aware that 23 men are under notice for discharge on 30th July and that about 200 others will probably have to be discharged by 31st October. I am not aware, however, that the majority of these men have passed their lives in the service of the Royal 1874 Army Ordnance Department, and are thereby unfitted by inexperience from undertaking other work. Chilwell was only taken over as an Ordnance Depot in 1919, and the large majority of the employés there have only been in ordnance service since that date.
With regard to the last part of the question, no pre-War employés have yet been discharged from Chilwell, but when the necessity for their leaving Chilwell arises I trust that most, if not all, of them can be absorbed in other War Department establishments. I regret that it has not been possible to provide employment for the post-War men.
§ Lord H. CAVENDISH-BENTINCK
How many men have already been found employment? The right hon. Gentleman promised to find work for these men.
§ Mr. WALSH
What I did promise—and what the Department is doing to the best of its ability, under exceedingly difficult circumstances, having regard to the vast number of unemployed in the ordinary branches of industry—was that we would do our best to find employment for those whom we have unfortunately been compelled to discharge. That we are doing.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
How far has the right hon. Gentleman been successful in finding employment for the men already discharged?