HC Deb 22 June 1939 vol 348 cc2413-4
5. Mr. Hopkin

asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been called to the closing of the woollen mills in the Drefach and Velinore district of Carmarthenshire; how many weavers from this district are now unemployed; and whether he will consult with other Government Departments with a view to placing orders for these mills in view of the distress in this district?

Mr. E. Brown

Two mills at Drefach normally employing 14 workpeople are at present temporarily closed and 22 men and 12 women weavers are registered as unemployed at the Llandyssul Employment Office which includes, among others, the Drefach—Velindre area. One mill at Velindre and one at Llandyssul were temporarily closed towards the end of May, but these mills, employing together about 100 persons, resumed full-time working on 12th June. I understand that the improvement is due in part to the fact that Government flannel contracts have recently been placed with certain firms in the area. As the hon. Member is no doubt aware, the districts concerned are included in the list of areas to which a preference is given, other things being equal, in the allocation of Government contracts. As regards the last part of the question, following upon a deputation received on 12th May last in my Department from the county council of Carmarthenshire, the attention of the contracting Departments was drawn to the facilities afforded in the county for the production of flannel.

Mr. Hopkin

Is it possible for the right hon. Gentleman to send down an officer of his Department to report as to the conditions in this district, and to see if there are any possibilities at all for developing the leading industry there?

Mr. Brown

I do not think there is any need for special inquiry as far as I know. If the hon. Member desires to bring any facts to my notice of which we are not aware, I shall be very glad to have them.