§ Mr. Martin
asked the Minister of Labour what steps are being taken to secure that arrangements are made for the staggering of hours in factories when this is desirable in order to enable satisfactory transport arrangements to be made?
§ Mr. Bevin
I am advised that the Defence Regulations already confer upon me all the necessary powers to enable undertakings to be directed to observe such starting and finishing times as may be necessary to fit in with a scheme of staggering to meet transport needs. Where it appears that staggering of hours is desirable, it will be the business of the Regional Transport Commissioner to see if this can he secured by the voluntary agreement of workers and managements. In any case where agreement is not reached at this stage I shall have the benefit of the assistance of the appropriate Regional Board of the Production Executive and, if agreement should still be unobtainable, their advice as to the need for exercising compulsion. If after taking all the circumstances into account, it then seems desirable to issue directions, I shall not hesitate to do so.