§ Major PRESCOTT
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions whether he is aware that in the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock there are now 1,235 idle machines in the large room, 563 in the sight department, 273 in the machine-gun department, 540 in the barrel room, 247 in the bayonet department, 200 in the screw shop, 56 in the magazine shop, 98 in the stocking department, and 90 forges and 35 steam drop-hammers in the smithy department; that the only work now being carried out in this factory consists of the repair of a few rifles and four railway trucks; and that there are thousands of unemployed ex-service men in North London who have submitted a well-considered scheme to the Controller of Ordnance Factories with a view to employing these rusty machines on works of public utility; and if he will state the intentions of the Government with regard to their future use?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
I am aware that a certain amount of plant and machinery at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield, is not fully occupied. The suggestion contained in the second part of the question is however incorrect, as a considerable amount of work is being done. Proposals for work have been put forward by the ex-service men, and by a Committee of Local Representatives, and two deputations have been seen, but the suggestions made were found, after careful investigation, to be uneconomical for the plant at this factory and would in fact have involved considerable additional expenditure. Such plant as will be retained has been thoroughly overhauled and repaired since the Armistice and is being kept in good condition for future rifle manufacture.