HC Deb 01 February 1945 vol 407 cc1605-6
13. Colonel Greenwell

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is taking to make available additional assistance to firms of printers who are required to carry out the printing of the new Electoral Register in view of the delay in the preparation of such registers in certain constituencies which, under present conditions, is likely to accrue; and if he is aware that the lack of labour in the printing industry is resulting in electoral registration officers having to produce the registers by duplication methods in their own offices, and the dislocation in such offices which will thereby accrue.

Mr. Bevin

I am aware of the difficulties to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers, and my officers are taking all steps open to them to meet the requirements. In co-operation with organisations of employers and workpeople in the printing industry, I have made special arrangements for transferring from other industries to firms engaged on printing the Electoral Register, suitable ex-printing operatives who are known to be willing to return to the printing industry for this purpose, and whose transfer can be arranged without serious detriment to essential war work.

Colonel Greenwell

Is the Minister aware that were it necessary to hold a General Election in certain constituencies within a reasonably short period it would be impossible to operate the new Electoral Register, because of the difficulty in getting labour?

Mr. Bevin

I know the difficulties in all spheres of labour at the moment, but I am doing my best to return to the printing trade sufficient labour by the date stated in the Act.

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