§ 23. Mrs. Eirene White
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that by the shutting down of the rayon works in Flint, the main source of employment for that town is closed; and, in view of this, what proposals he has to make, either for placing contracts which would enable the factories to re-open or for alternative industrial enterprise in the area.
§ Mr. P. Thorneycroft
I understand that, as at present planned, these factories, which, as the hon. Member states, provide the main source of employment in Flint, will be closed for a period of four weeks only, as a temporary measure made necessary by the serious falling off in demand which is at present affecting rayon production in common with other sections of the textile industry. Under these circumstances, I feel that it would 536 be premature to consider the introduction of new enterprises to the area.
As regards Government contracts, these factories produce rayon yarn for which no orders are placed by the Government.
§ Mrs. White
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that rayon could be substituted for cotton in the specifications for a number of Services orders? This would save considerable dollar expenditure, would in no way harm Lancashire and would keep workers in employment in North Wales and other rayon centres. Will he take the matter up energetically and speedily with the Service Departments?