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Volume 360: debated on Thursday 9 May 1940

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asked the Minister of Labour how the 684 men unemployed in the shipbuilding and ship-repairing industry in the Greenock area are distributed in categories as wrights, riveters, platers, etc.; and how it is that these men are unemployed in view of the shortage of labour in the shipbuilding industry?

The number of unemployed registered at Greenock in the principal shipyard occupations on 11th March were 111 riveters, 57 holders up, 30 iron caulkers, 28 machinists, 26 platers, 10 shipwrights and six boilershop workers. This total of 268 fell to 206 by 29th April, the latest date for which I have figures. As the hon. Member doubtless knows, there are difficulties in securing the reabsorption of men who have been long unemployed even in the present state of demand, but no effort is being spared to achieve this in collaboration with the representatives of employers and trade unions.

Can the Minister say what actually is being done in order to re-absorb these men into employment, because this matter has been going on for a long time?

An examination of each man's name in the register has taken place, with the assistance of both employers and employed in the industry.

Apart from the examination of the man's name, is an examination being made of the man, and are efforts being made to put men on to productive industry, which is so much needed at the present time?

Arising from the original answer, in which the Minister said there were 20 platers unemployed in Greenock, if he sends those platers to Clydebank they will be immediately employed. Is he aware of that fact?