HC Deb 24 March 1938 vol 333 c1349
4. Mr. Magnay

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that Hunters, Limited, Bakeries, of Gateshead, have been bought by Allied Bakers, Limited, of Bradford, transferred to the Team Valley trading estate, and transformed from a bakery into a distributive centre; that 100 employés of this firm have been discharged; that, as the tins used in the bakery will no longer be required, further unemployment will be caused on Tyne-side; and what steps he proposes to take to see that the facilities of the trading estates are used only for factories which create employment?

Mr. E. Brown

I have received a letter from the firm, and propose to circulate the relevant extract in the OFFICIAL REPORT. My hon. Friend will see from this that, according to the firm's statement, there is no ground for the apprehensions which he expresses.

Following is the extract:

In a letter dated 23rd March, addressed by the Allied Bakeries, Limited, to the Minister of Labour, the following are stated to be the true circumstances surrounding this matter: 1. That control of Messrs. Hunters The Bakers Ltd. was acquired by Allied Bakeries Ltd. in December, 1935. 2. That the Corporation of Gateshead notified the Company some time ago that the present factory was on the proposed route to be taken by a new arterial road and so our tenure could no longer be considered as secure 3. That there is no intention whatsoever to discontinue manufacturing m Newcastle, and further that the new factory on the Team valley Estate is being equipped with machinery capable of an output more than double that of the present factory. 4. That the only bakery goods distributed by Messrs. Hunters The Bakers Ltd. and not manufactured in their own factory consist of a small quantity of a new class of cake which it is not possible to manufacture in the present factory but will be manufactured in Newcastle when the Team Valley Estate factory is in operation. 5. It is agreed that approximately 90 to 100 employés of this firm have been dismissed recently. This is due to internal reorganisation of the Company causing the closing down of certain uneconomical departments and consequent dismissal of redundant labour. This move has been accompanied by a very substantial increase in wages to those employés who were retained and I can state that the present wage bill of the Company is as much as it was before the dismissal of the employés referred to. When the new factory is in operation we anticipate employing considerably more people than at present, and it should be noted that they will be working under modem and ideal conditions and at wages fully comparable with those paid in the bakery trade in any part of the country.