HC Deb 27 March 1941 vol 370 cc673-4
1 and 3. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Labour (1) whether he is satisfied that the area and local machinery that exists for production purposes is functioning with efficiency and obtaining the maximum production with the minimum of friction;

(2) what are the executive, as distinct from the advisory, duties now performed by the Area (Production) Boards, and whether he is satisfied that the boards are in a position to make their maximum contribution to the effective mobilisation of industry for war production?

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Bevin)

The Area Boards as such have no executive functions; tasks requiring executive action locally are carried out through the Area officers of the Departments. While the reconstituted Area Boards are making a useful contribution to the effective mobilisation of industry for war production, I am not wholly satisfied with the present position, and I am reviewing in consultation with my colleagues the existing local machinery and the powers and functions of the Area Boards.

Mr. Gordon Macdonald

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in some of the munition factories in the north-west of the country there is great dissatisfaction with the functioning of this machinery, and will the investigation now promised be carried out swiftly?

Mr. David Adams

Is the Minister aware that the Board on the north-east coast situated at Newcastle is giving the greatest satisfaction, alike to employers and employés?

Mr. Bevin

Yes, Sir. Life is full of compensations.