HC Deb 13 March 1946 vol 420 cc1106-7
79 and 80. Lieut.-Colonel Kingsmill

asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) how many glove-cutter apprentices are employed in the factories on the Pontypridd estate;

(2) whether it is in accordance with the policy of His Majesty's Government that glove factories on the Pontypridd estate are sending skins to other areas to be cut, to the detriment of the older-established centres of gloving.

Mr. Belcher

One glove manufacturer on the Treforest Estate, to whom the hon. and gallant Member presumably refers, has employed since his establishment shortly before the war a small amount of cutting labour in other areas. The firm is training a number of local apprentices to do this work, but it is a skilled operation requiring considerable experience, and, while local labour is being trained, it is necessary to have the assistance of a few skilled workers from other areas in order to provide full employment for the labour engaged on other operations.

Lieut.-Colonel Kingsmill

Is the Minister aware that the old established glove firms are so short of skins that they are unable to start production, and does he not consider that there has been a misallocation of skins?

Mr. Belcher

No, Sir, the fact is that the allocation to this particular firm is on the same basis as for the rest of the industry, but, since their labour forces were better maintained during the war than in glove firms generally, they were able to do a fair amount of Government work. We have maintained their allocation at the wartime levels to avoid unemployment. We have emphasised to this firm that we expect them only to employ Welsh labour, but there is always. a certain amount of out-work in the glove industry and we have no legal means to prevent them from doing so.