§ 3. Mr. Lewis
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware of the concern felt by those engaged in the furniture industry at the increasing amount of unemployment and short-time working in the industry; that this unemployment is a result of the Government's financial and economic policy; and if he will agree to meet representatives of the industry to discuss this problem.
§ Sir E. Boyle
I understand that there is some unemployment in this industry and some short-time working due partly to the seasonal decline in demand, but I do not think the proposed meeting would be helpful at the present time. The Government's policy was fully explained in last week's debate on employment.
§ 4. Mr. Lewis
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that a further 519 employees of the Carpet Manufacturing Company, Kidderminster, are being placed on short time, bringing the total number of workers in the Midlands on short time to 2,000, or one in five of the total labour force; that this is a result of the Government's financial and economic policy; and whether, in view of the importance of the carpet trade to our export business, he will take such action as will ensure full employment in this industry.
§ Sir E. Boyle
I understand that there is some short time working in the Midlands in this industry, though not to the extent suggested in the Question. The Government's attitude towards short-time working was fully explained in the debate on employment last week.