HC Deb 23 March 1948 vol 448 cc2749-50
14. Mr. Willis

asked the Minister of Pensions how many contractors to his Department have given notice that they must cease production as from 31st May, owing to receipt of notices to quit.

Mr. Buchanan

I am sorry to say that the two firms in Scotland who are contractors for the supply of surgical appliances have recently received notice to quit their premises in May next. I realise that if these firms are displaced the production of surgical appliances for the war disabled and civilians will be seriously interrupted, and I shall take every possible action to safeguard their position. In the case of one firm situated in Glasgow, a senior official of my Department has approached the parties and I hope, as a result, a satisfactory settlement will be reached.

Mr. Willis

Has my right hon. Friend intimated these cases to the Secretary of State for Scotland?

Mr. Buchanan

I called the attention of the Secretary of State for Scotland to the cases, and I am also consulting with the Lord Advocate to see what power we have in the matter.

Mr. Henry Usborne

What percentage of the supplies required are produced by those two firms?

Mr. Buchanan

I would not claim that it was very high, but the fact is that they are very competent firms and do excellent work, and it would be a great pity, particularly in Glasgow, where employment is needed so much, if any employment were lost to that city.