HC Deb 18 December 1952 vol 509 cc1605-7
18. Mr. Orbach

asked the Minister of Labour whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that 70 mothers have been informed that they must remove their children from the Willesden day nurseries; that most of these mothers are engaged in work for which there is a shortage of labour; and what steps he is taking to make good this shortage.

Sir W. Monckton

If these women withdraw from their present employment, no special difficulties are anticipated in providing workers to replace them. Employers should notify their vacancies to the employment exchange.

Mr. Orbach

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that this Question simply pinpoints what will become a big issue in Middlesex? Would he not nudge his right hon. Friend sitting on his left, the Minister of Health, who passed the buck to the Middlesex County

Sir H. Williams

On a point of order. As this information is published regularly every month in the "Ministry of Labour Gazette," why was this Question allowed on the Order Paper?

Mr. Lewis

Mr. Speaker, are you not aware that the hon. Member for Croydon, East (Sir H. Williams) is often querying the authority of the Table and of yourself in admitting Questions? Is it not a fact that if the Table and yourself admit Questions they must of necessity be in order?

Mr. Murray

Would it not be possible to appoint the hon. Member for Croydon, East (Sir H. Williams) Clerk of the Table?

Following is the reply:

The table gives the figures for November of each year.

Council, and urge him to see whether something could not be done? Hundreds of women will be forced to leave employment as a result of the closing of day nurseries, or of the increased charges made, in this area. I ask him to take note of what will happen to production in this area.

Sir W. Monckton

I take note of that, but I think the hon. Member realises that the buck was not really, if I may say so, on my plate.

Mr. Beswick

May I ask the Minister if he would ask the Parliamentary Secretary to send me the list of female vacancies in Middlesex, as he promised me last week, and whether that list will not show that there is a considerable number of vacancies within the county? Does he not think that it is treating this matter rather lightly when he says that it really does not matter if these people have to give up their employment, although there is dislocation for the employees and the industries which they have to leave?

Sir W. Monckton

I only intended to say that we were in a position to provide workers to replace these people, and that that really was my consideration in the matter.