HC Deb 01 November 1949 vol 469 cc180-1
14. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he proposes to take to get additional labour into the export industries to meet the extra demands arising from devaluation; and if he has discussed the matter with the trades unions concerned.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Isaacs)

There are existing arrangements for giving a preference in the supply of labour to industries and firms engaged on dollar earning and dollar saving production. I have initiated discussions with both sides of industry to review and, where necessary, strengthen these arrangements.

Mr. Osborne

Is the Minister satisfied that the exporting trades are to get the extra labour they will require, or is he expecting the same labour to do the extra work to meet the new demands?

Mr. Isaacs

No, Sir. The hon. Member asked what steps we are proposing to take. We propose to continue the present steps and, where necessary, to strengthen them in the hope that we shall be able to supply all the industries' requirements.

Mrs. Jean Mann

Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that everything is being done? Is the comb-out really sufficient? Is he aware that the Dorchester, the Mayfair and other places are simply swarming with useless men and women who ought to be directed into productive employment?

Mr. Isaacs

I have informed the House that I have no powers to comb-out. All I can do is to make the best use of the labour that comes to us.

Squadron-Leader Fleming

Are no special steps being taken, with reference to the textile industry in Lancashire, to get women to come into Lancashire and work in the cotton industry?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir. Special steps have been taken in Lancashire with successful results, and further supplies of labour are now becoming available.

Mr. Osborne

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Dorchester and the Mayfair labour would be useless in most textile areas?