HC Deb 07 June 1945 vol 411 c1039
2. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the activities of many manufacturers in preparing for export trade are restricted by the difficulty in obtaining craftsmen for their particular industries; and whether he will allow firms to advertise for the men whom they require.

Mr. Butler

I am aware that many employers are experiencing difficulty in preparing for export trade. So far as skilled and experienced men can be made available without interference with the production for the Japanese war, arrangements made provide for them to be placed on important civilian work, including work for export. It is of course open to employers to advertise for workers who are outside the scope of the Control of Engagement Order, 1945, but unrestricted advertising by competing employers for workers, who are in short supply, would not be in the public interest nor would it resolve the difficulties of the export trades.

Sir W. Smithers

Is the Minister aware that the immediate repeal of the Essential Work Order would do more than anything else to restore our domestic and foreign trade, and will he undertake to do that?

Mr. Butler

I am afraid that things are not quite so simple as the hon. Gentleman thinks.

Mr. George Griffiths

Is the Minister aware that, if this occurs, there will be a lot of miners wanting to work somewhere else and then the hon. Gentleman will be crying out about it?