52. Mr. PRICE
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office what steps are being taken to find employment for the workpeople discharged as the result of the closing down of the Pimlico State factory?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the WAR OFFICE (Mr. Duff Cooper)
The War Department and the Ministry of Labour are acting in close collaboration on this matter. Lists have been supplied of the employés concerned, by categories of employment, to the Ministry of Labour, who are ensuring that any suitable vacancies for employment notified to the Employment Exchanges will be brought to the notice of Pimlico employés. The Ministry have detailed an officer of their divisional staff to act as liaison officer in close touch with the management at Pimlico. Discharges will be arranged in consultation with representatives of the employés affected with the object of minimising hardship as far as possible. Any employés who receive offers of employment will be released immediately should they so desire. Other Government Departments who might have vacancies for the type of labour in question have been notified and asked to give any assistance in their power. I have personally approached trade firms in or near London which are likely to be concerned in the supply of Army clothing, with a view to enlisting their assistance in offering employment to Pimlico employés, and I feel sure that they will respond to the best of their ability.
§ Mr. LAWSON
Is it not rather disgraceful to be doing this kind of thing—turning people out and adding to the difficulties of the Ministry of Labour?
§ Mr. COOPER
Some of them are entitled to gratuities on leaving, which they have received or will receive.
§ Lieut.-Colonel APPLIN
Would the statement of my hon. Friend apply equally to the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield?
§ Mr. THORNE
Is it the intention of the Government to close down the factory at Pimlico completely, or are some of the departments to be kept going for the purpose of making tunics for the Guards?