HC Deb 19 November 1919 vol 121 cc935-6W

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office (1) whether he is now in a position to state the policy of the Department with regard to the Pimlico Army Clothing Factory; whether he is aware that civilian suits supplied to soldiers on demobilisation were manufactured at this factory at the cost of £2 5s. per suit; and whether, in view of the efficiency of this factory, he will favourably consider the utilisation of the stocks of cloth in the making of standard suits for sale direct to retailers in order to maintain employment in the factory, make full use of the cloth while it is in good condition, and keep the personnel up to at least pre-war strength;

(2) whether unless some measures are taken at once about 600 women employed at the Pimlico Army Clothing Factory will receive notice of dismissal within a few days although the workers in this factory some time ago agreed to work three days a week only in order to avoid any discharge; and whether steps will be taken which will enable the factory to be kept at least at pre-war strength, and to arrange with the employés for stoppages to take place on lines which will not involve hardships?


asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether any decision has been come to regarding the future of the Pimlico Army Clothing Factory; whether he is aware that, as a result of execssive manufacture, huge stocks of clothing are in store, sufficient to last the new standing Army for nearly five year; that much of these stores will be until for wear before put to use and will probably be sold at low prices on account of deteriorated condition; that a large part could be sold now to many willing purchasers at a fair price and that leave the factory free to manufacture more up-to-date requirements; and that many suits of clothes have been made of too large a size to be serviceable but could be made fit for use by slight alteration and thus provide work; and whether every effort will be made to keep this national factory going?


While it is desired to maintain the Pimlico Clothing Factory, the rapid rate of demobilisation and the large stocks which have in consequence become available have rendered it impossible to keep the staff fully employed, and in the interests of economy discharges have therefore become necessary. The matter has been receiving careful consideration, and everything will be done to ease the hardship entailed, but I am afraid it may be found necessary to effect still further reductions of staff. I am not prepared to admit that there has been an excessive manufacture of military clothing. The large stocks of clothing now on Army charge are due to the rapidity with which demobilisation has been carried out, and it is in the interests of economy that such stocks should be maintained and used up to meet the needs of the troops. As regards the civilian suits supplied to soldiers on demobilisation, a comparatively small quantity of special sizes only have been manufactured at the factory and no more of these suits are now required.