HC Deb 06 December 1939 vol 355 c659W
Mr. Oliver

asked the Minister of Supply what steps are being taken by his Department to utilise the large volume of unemployed and suitable labour in making munitions and other essential goods; and whether, in view of the large purchases of munitions now being made from overseas, he will take an early opportunity of considering the expansion of production at home?

Mr. Burgin

Large orders for additional supplies of munitions of all kinds are being placed almost daily, and more and more firms are being brought into this field of production. I am establishing an area organisation, one of the functions of which will be to bring to notice capacity capable of manufacturing munitions. As all these measures are translated into actual production, a process which cannot be instantaneous, the demand for skilled and semi-skilled labour will be in excess of the numbers now unemployed: there must inevitably remain a substantial number of unemployed who are unsuitable for munitions work.

Whilst, however, this must always be the case, as the war proceeds there will arise demands for large quantities of general stores which should provide opportunities for employment of other grades of labour.

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