Mr. De la Bère
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and Buildings whether, in view of the large number of registrations which have recently taken place whereby the works and buildings departments of large industrial undertakings have registered as separate entities and companies, he will issue an explanatory memorandum, indicating their policy in connection with the facilities to be afforded to these departments after the cessation of hostilities; and whether he will give an assurance that these departments will not be restricted from carrying on the class of business that they had been engaged on for many years prior to the outbreak of the war?
§ Mr. Hicks
The Works and Buildings Departments of large industrial undertakings are only required to register if they are wholly or mainly engaged in building activities for persons other than the industrial undertakings of which they form part. The number of such Departments which have registered is small. If, however, my hon. Friend is referring to the return which industrial undertakings were, by Order, required to make of the maintenance and similar labour directly employed by them, I would point out that this was merely a census and in no sense a registration. The purpose both of the registration and the census was to assist in ensuring the best possible use during the war of the available manpower, and they were in no way directed in post-war conditions. I do not feel, therefore, that any useful purpose would be served by the issue of a memorandum such as is suggested by the hon. Member.