HC Deb 13 December 1945 vol 417 cc611-2
64. Major Peter Roberts

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the labour shortage, he will assist the cutlery trade, and particularly its export trade, by placing the cutlery industry on the civilian preference list.

Mr. Isaacs

The export industries are already eligible for labour preference. My officers are always ready to help individual exporters, whether in cutlery or other industries, to obtain their proper share of available labour that may be suitable for their needs. I have been in consultation with my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade concerning possible other measures to build up the labour force of the cutlery industry.

Major Roberts

Is the Minister aware that the cutlery trade needs labour, and all it has got so far from the Government is a working party?

Mr. Bossom

Can the Minister say whether this also applies to paper which is specially manufactured for export, for which they have not been able to get any people at all since the war ended?

Mr. Isaacs

As it happens, I am rather interested in paper, but the Question dealt specifically with cutlery and I cannot deal with paper at the moment. I shall, however, be glad to answer any point which the hon. Member cares to put.

Mr. Jennings

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this matter is of serious concern to the City of Sheffield, where there is a great lack of employees in the cutlery trade, and, as my hon. and gallant Friend said, all we have got is a working party?

Mr. Isaacs

But the working party, getting the men out of the Forces, is doing a good job as well.