HC Deb 22 October 1942 vol 383 cc2114-5W
Mr. McNeil

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will schedule under the Essential Work Order all building trade operatives who are engaged upon the completion, repair, sub-division or modification of homes for bombed-out families?

Mr. McCorquodale

I assume my hon. Friend has in mind the safeguarding of labour from withdrawal from this work. Scheduling under the Essential Work Order is not in general appropriate since it can only be applied to particular sites or undertakings. The Department, however, acts in close co-operation and consultation with the interested Government Departments and arrangements are at present in force whereby labour is not transferred to other work if it is engaged on essential first-aid repairs. Other transfers must be subject to the requirements of urgent Government contracts.

Mr. MacLaren

asked the Minister of Labour what action he proposes to take to meet the problem of the shortage of plumbers; and will he stop the calling up of those now in employment?

Mr. McCorquodale

My right hon. Friend is not aware of any general shortage of plumbers at the present time. In calling up building trade operatives, including plumbers, my right hon. Friend acts after consultation with his Noble Friend the Minister of Works and Planning.