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Tank Production (Labour Force)

Volume 414: debated on Monday 22 October 1945

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30.

asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production the number of persons now employed in the manufacture of tanks and the component parts of tanks; and what reduction in such numbers is likely to be made in the near future.

I regret that it is not possible to give accurate figures of the labour force employed on the manufacture of tanks and their components as much of this work is carried out by subcontract. I can, however, indicate the substantial nature of the reductions that are now being made in the labour force employed by saying that the output of all armoured fighting vehicles at the end of 1945 should as now planned show a reduction of two-thirds on the rate of production in May last. Further reductions are now under discussion but the Army's post-war requirements of armoured fighting vehicles are not yet fully determined.

Is the Minister aware that one of the greatest objections to-day of those employed in Government factories is that they are being taken off this work, which is being sent to contractors to be done by private enterprise?

The future use of the capacity previously used for various kinds of war material must be looked at as a balanced whole, and that we are trying to do.

Would it not be better if a few more motor cars were made and a few less tanks?