HC Deb 06 December 1961 vol 650 cc1349-50
5. Mr. Farr

asked the Minister of Labour if local employment exchanges have a list of those firms manufacturing for export in their areas; and whether such firms are given priority in their demands for labour.

Mr. Hare

There is no system of priorities, but my officers do everything possible in conjunction with the Board of Trade to assist firms whose export production is hampered by shortage of labour.

Mr. Farr

Does my right hon. Friend think, in view of the importance to the nation of export industries, that a more distinct arrangement could be made? There is a large engineering firm in my constituency which is exporting over 40 per cent. of its products and has the utmost difficulty in obtaining skilled or unskilled labour from the local labour exchange.

Mr. Hare

I have the greatest sympathy with what my hon. Friend says, but to do effectively what he has suggested would demand the direction of labour and I do not think any of us wants to contemplate that in peace time. I can assure my hon. Friend that we do our level best to assist in the problems of bottlenecks such as that in the example he has given.