HC Deb 03 August 1943 vol 391 cc2069-70
20. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether plans are being prepared for the conversion of State factories built for the production of munitions to production for other purposes at the end of the war; and what steps have been taken to that end?

Mr. Dalton

Yes, Sir. Plans are being prepared for the post-war use of these factories, but, as my hon. Friend will appreciate, final decisions cannot be taken, until we can see more clearly than at present the conditions which are likely to prevail at the end of the war.

Mr. Griffiths

Having regard to the fact that some areas have become almost en- tirely dependent on these factories, will my right hon. Friend make a statement about their future as soon as possible, as people are getting perturbed?

Mr. Dalton

We do not know what further production of munitions will be required before the final ending of the war against all our enemies, and we do not yet know what total production of munitions will be required afterwards in order to make sure that there is no repetition of what we are going through at present. Until we get a clear view on the subject it cannot be decided which factories will still be required for arms production.

Mr. Levy

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it would be wise to issue a list of these factories to large industrial firms in order to find out whether they will be useful to them after the war, so that we do not get a hiatus between their closing down as munitions factories and their opening for other purposes after the war?

Mr. Dalton

We are looking at it very carefully. It will not escape our attention.