HC Deb 21 April 1947 vol 436 cc600-1
60. Mr. Driberg

asked the Minister of Works if he is aware that the hon. Member for Maldon made representations to the Board of Trade on 14th January on behalf of the Witham, Essex, branch of the National Federation of Building Trades Operatives who were in urgent need of permits for vacuum flasks; that his Department, as agent for the Board of Trade, recommended on 4th February that the matter be referred to his regional officer at Cambridge, and gave an assurance that it would receive immediate attention; that the union branch secretary concerned applied to the regional officer on 24th February, but has so far received neither the permits, nor an acknowledgment of his letter; and if he will expedite the issue of these permits, and improve these arrangements generally.

Mr. Key

The permits were issued on 26th March. I regret the delay which occurred in this case and the arrangements for dealing with such applications have been improved.

Mr. Driberg

Is my right hon. Friend aware that these permits were sent When this Question originally appeared on the Order Paper, but that only four were sent instead of the 11 asked for? Are not all these workers equally entitled to these permits?

Mr. Key

My information is that all were sent, but I will look into the statement my hon. Friend has made.

Mr. Walkden

May I appeal to the Prime Minister to look at the purport of this Question, and to consider wiping out altogether the permits branch of the Board of Trade, which does not do anything besides create alibis and a lot of mischievous work for a lot of people who do not really matter to human society?