HC Deb 24 January 1956 vol 548 cc7-8W
Mr. Hale

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that heavy short-time working has continued in the mule spinning sections of the Lancashire cotton industry for some years and that this has now spread to all sections of the industry; and whether he will have a special survey of the extent of short time made and present the report to Parliament.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Since 1952 there has been little short-time working in the mule spinning section of the cotton industry until the increase which took place in the first part of this year and which affected all sections of the industry. Employers in the manufacturing industries make a quarterly return to my Department of the numbers of their workpeople who are on short time. The numbers shown by this return as having worked short time during the week ended 27th August were 16,165 in cotton spinning and doubling (separate figures are not available for mule spinning) and 9392 in cotton weaving. The aggregate number of hours lost was 218,152 and 174,049 respectively. The results of the return for the week ended 26th November are not yet available, but they will be published in the January issue of the Ministry of Labour Gazette. Reports received from the Ministry's Local Offices indicate that the position has improved in recent months and that the November figures will be considerably less than those for August. I see no need for a special survey.