§ 27. Mr. Willey
asked the President of the Board of Trade what factors caused the decline of 1,271 in the number of persons employed in the North-Eastern Trading Estate Company's factories in Sunderland between 30th September, 1951, and 27th February, 1954.
§ Mr. H. Strauss
Early in 1952 about 800 workers were discharged by these factories on account of a decline in the demand for their products; and in 1953 Prices, Tailors, Limited, closed their clothing factory.
§ 28. Mr. Willey
asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he is taking to increase the number of women and girls employed in the North-Eastern Trading Estate Company's factories in Sunderland.
§ Mr. H. Strauss
We are seeking to increase employment for both men and women through the full use of all Government-financed factories in the area, and we have recently approved the building of a large new Government-financed factory on the Pallion Estate.
Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that the women of Sunderland have proved themselves very good workers; that one of the main purposes of these new factories was to provide work for women in Sunderland and that therefore it is most disturbing that there are nearly 1,500 fewer women employed than when this Government took office? Is he aware that we should like real and direct action taken by the Government in this matter?
§ Mr. Strauss
It is difficult to see how more direct action could be taken than that referred to in the last part of my answer. Perhaps in considering these figures the hon. Member would also like to recall that the factories on the North-Eastern Trading Estate generally were employing, on the last available date, more than ever in their history.
§ Mr. Willey
In view of the inability of the Parliamentary Secretary to deal with this problem. I beg to give notice 221 that I shall endeavour to raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest opportunity.