HC Deb 12 October 1944 vol 403 c1913
24. Sir Charles Edwards

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that many one-man businesses had to be closed through the owners having been directed to work in industry; and will he now consider the release of these men so that they may restart their businesses, seeing that there is already a redundancy of labour in many factories.

Mr. Bevin

There are still urgent demands for war production, and I am unable, therefore, to give any general concession such as my hon. Friend suggests. Where a man who previously ran a one-man business becomes redundant, as a result of changes in production, and wishes to restart his business, it is necessary to consider, in his case, as in that of other persons who wish to return to their previous work, whether he is still needed for war work.

Commander Agnew

Will the right hon. Gentleman sympathetically consider applications for release in cases where the men were engaged in one-man businesses, and have had many workers taken away, and, though they themselves are able to accept contracts for war work, they cannot carry them out if they cannot get releases?

Mr. Bevin

This matter is constantly under review by the Man-Power Board, but I am afraid I cannot give any general undertaking in reply to a question without knowing the actual facts and circumstances.