HC Deb 02 February 1953 vol 510 cc1450-1
7. Mr. Edelman

asked the Minister of Supply what adjustments he has made in the arms programme or contracts intended for the Midland region during 1953; and what plans he has for the economic use of skilled workers and productive resources made redundant by these changes.

Mr. Sandys

As was explained by the Prime Minister in December, the general effect of the changes in the defence programme will be to prevent further increases in the amount of labour and materials used for defence production rather than to make any overall reduction. The adjustments in the programme taken as a whole should not, therefore, create any substantial problem of redundancy.

Mr. Edelman

Would the right hon. Gentleman say whether he has a detailed plan for the redeployment of labour which will have to be transferred? If he has such a detailed plan would he announce it for the guidance of the workers and employers in industry?

Mr. Sandys

The hon. Member may be interested to know that, in general, my reports from the Midland area show that there are substantial shortages of labour for the defence programme.

Mr. Chapman

Is the Minister aware that in some parts of the region, notably in Birmingham, there is a great deal of growing unemployment? Could his plan be more flexible to absorb people who become unemployed in the present circumstances?