§ Mr. Stamford
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that a number of large clothing manufacturers in Leeds are considering the adoption of short-time working in consequence of the shortage of cloth and linings supplied by the mills; and if he will arrange an increase of supplies to enable full employment to be maintained in the industry.
§ Sir S. Cripps
I am aware that difficulties have arisen in certain firms, but I have no evidence that there is likely to be widespread short-time working in Leeds. My Department, however, is working in close touch with representatives of the employers and workers in the industry on the position generally. Supplies of cloth from the mills are limited by the shortage of labour, but, in order to prevent the dislocation which might have arisen through the recent cancellations of Government contracts for suits, clothiers were authorised to use for civilian production the uncut material in their possession. In consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply, arrangements have also been made for cloth manufacturers to give precedence to their civilian orders by postponing the delivery of cloth which will be needed to continue the programme of demobilisation clothing in 1947.