HC Deb 04 February 1942 vol 377 c1182
48. Mr. Burke

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply whether he will inquire into the corn-plaints of alleged waste of labour and material at a firm on war-work in Lancashire, the name of which has been supplied to him; that men in charge are stated to have had no previous experience of the work; that numerous defective parts are lying about scrapped; that women have to spend their time knitting; and that these complaints were made at a meeting of the employees specially called by a responsible trade union at which two district officials were present?

Mr. Harold Macmillan

Yes, Sir. The meeting of the employees was called as a preliminary to a subsequent joint meeting with the management, at which the complaints were fully discussed and general agreement reached. I am satisfied that the closest co-operation exists between the two sides.

Mr. Burke

Is the hon. Gentleman, aware that these complaints have been widespread and have caused much concern in the neighbourhood of this factory, and does he think that insurance agents, school teachers, and salesmen are the best type to be put in charge of production of components for aeroplanes and tanks?

Mr. Macmillan

My hon. Friend has made a lot of statements to which he will not expect me to reply offhand, but I am very gratified that the matter in dispute has been settled by the operation of the Whitley Council, on which both sides are represented.