HC Deb 26 May 1921 vol 142 cc324-5W

asked the Secretary of State for War what it is proposed to do with regard to the two townships of Gretna and Eastriggs, their houses, roads, and lighting, in the event of His Majesty's factory at Gretna being closed and placed in charge of a small maintenance staff?

Lieut.-Colonel STANLEY

I am afraid I cannot add anything to the answer I gave my hon. and gallant Friend on 29th April.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the proposed reductions and discharges of workers and staff now employed at Gretna factory are expected to affect within a few weeks' time some 500 or 600 employed persons, the majority of whom are ex-service men, including many disabled men; and whether steps will be taken to find further work at the factory for these people, seeing that Gretna is a national factory but with no alternative means of occupation in its neighbourhood, to which a number of ex-service men have been attracted by reason of the Government's action in establishing the factory and providing ample housing accommodation in the townships adjoining it?

Lieut.-Colonel STANLEY

I regret there is no alternative but to discharge a number of employés from Gretna factory in the near future, who would, otherwise, have to be kept on without work for them to do. I should explain that the factory is of a very special type, and is unsuitable for work of an ordinary nature, even if such work were available. It is in no sense an engineering establishment; the engineering plant which is installed there is relatively small, and only sufficient for general maintenance purposes. The wagon-repair programme is nearly completed, no further wagons being available, either from the Ministry of Munitions Pool or from the railway companies.