HC Deb 23 August 1945 vol 413 cc764-5
2. Colonel Erroll

asked the Minister of Labour what proposals he has in view to increase the labour force available to the cotton industry.

Mr. Isaacs

The cotton industry realises that it must be able to attract the workers it needs in competition with other industries. The rapid reduction in war work which is now possible should substantially increase the labour force available. My officers will continue to do all they can to encourage workers to take up employment in the cotton industry, particularly in the card room and spinning section where the most pressing labour shortages at present exist. Full publicity will be given in Lancashire to the determination of the Government that cotton shall once more become a flourishing industry providing good wages and working conditions, and to the measures of improvement being undertaken by the industry.

Colonel Erroll

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether conditions in card rooms are a serious deterrent to former operatives who are at present reluctant to return to the industry?

Mr. Isaacs

So far as our information goes, that is one of the problems.

Mr. Sunderland

Is it not also true that the employers in the cotton industry have been reluctant to provide the improvement in the conditions in the card rooms which has so long been advocated by the operatives?

Mr. Isaacs

In view of the fact that a Commission is now about to sit to go into these matters, I prefer to make no further observations at the moment.