HC Deb 12 March 1941 vol 369 c1284
50. Mr. Cocks

asked the Minister of Supply what steps he is taking to enable a greater number of small firms to take part in war production as recommended by the Select Committee on National Expenditure; and whether he will make arrangements to enable them to obtain the necessary credit facilities from the banks?

54. Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Minister of Supply whether he is aware that small engineering shops in Scotland that were busily engaged on munitions during the last war have not yet been given an opportunity of contributing by their work to the present war effort; and whether, with a view to spreading such engineering work, he will take steps to promote a policy of decentralisation in respect of such work?

The Minister of Supply (Sir Andrew Duncan)

The Ministry's area officers are constantly helping to arrange sub-contracts of all kinds for the smaller firms, and group schemes are employed in suitable cases. Arrangements have been made in co-operation with the banks whereby manufacturers can, where necessary, obtain from their banks the necessary resources to carry out their contracts. The Ministry of Supply provide additional plant in suitable eases.

Mr. Gibson

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman take some further steps than those which are dependent upon the action of banks, in order to bring into production the engineering shops in Scotland and give a greater impetus to the war effort such as was given in the last war?

Sir A. Duncan

I did not say it was dependent upon the action of banks, but upon the action of our own Ministry of Supply area officers.