HC Deb 08 March 1945 vol 408 cc2200-1
10. Captain Duncan

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that garbage in certain parts of London is not being collected for as much as five weeks owing to the shortage of labour and the nature of the labour available; and whether he will allocate more labour to the Metropolitan boroughs concerned so that a more frequent collection can be made and in order to avoid an outbreak of disease.

Mr. Bevin

I am aware of the difficulties to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers, which arise from the general shortage of labour in London to meet the requirements of essential products and services. I am however giving urgent consideration to the means whereby the most pressing of these particular demands may be satisfied.

Captain Duncan

Is my right hon. Friend aware that unless an improvement is made in the collection of refuse there will be a real danger of epidemics when the warmer weather comes; and will he do everything he can to improve the labour supply?

Mr. Manning

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in some otherwise well-run boroughs in London, the position is even worse than that stated in the Question, that six to eight weeks elapse between collections, that there is a difficulty in some parts in getting the proper servicing of vehicles and the labour of many kinds which is wanted, and that the health question is causing considerable concern?

Mr. Bevin

The difficulty in London is that, with bomb damage repairs and so many other claims upon me, it is difficult to meet all the requirements. I wondered whether some new method could be introduced which would result in pooling some of the services, and I propose to meet the local authorities to look into that, and to see whether I can economise labour and, at the same time, give them some relief.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

In considering that will my right hon. Friend bear in mind a reply of the Minister of Supply yesterday that certain kinds of salvage which are collected are in short supply and are badly needed?