14 MARCH 1941, Page 3

Labour in the Shipyards

Speeding-up in the turn-round of labour at the docks is to he followed by similar measures in the handling of labour in the shipbuilding and ship-repairing industries. It was announced last Sunday that the First Lord of the Admiralty, who is already responsible for the construction and repair of ships in the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy, is hence- forward to become responsible for the efficient use of labour within the industry. The crying need is for interchangeability of labour, so that men can be turned on from one job to another without any waste of time. Control is to be exercised nationally by the Board of Admiralty, and locally by executives who will carry out the Board's general policy and allot men to jobs in the order of their importance. The men on their side will benefit by assured employment and continuous wages. In a speech at Newcastle-on-Tyne Mr. Bevin dwelt on the fact that another 3o per cent.. outputat the shipyards would be a vital factor in winning the battle of the Atlantic. Such an increase depends partly on the individual efforts of the men, and partly on the best organisation of the supply of labour. The trade unions are offering the fullest co-operation.