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MANPOWER SHORTAGE Revival Of Post-War Trade May Suffer N.Z.P.A. Special Correspondent Rec. 10.30 a.m. LONDON, July 18. There is growing concern in Britain to-day at the acute shortage of manpower for civilian industries and it is forecast that the coming six months will probably be the most difficult period for industry since the outbreak of the war. Estimates of the supply of manpower have admittedly not worked out as expected. It is stated that the textile industry is short of 376,000 workers to make up the total required for its maximum output, the clothing industry has only 60 per cent of the labour required, while the building industry has less than half the number of workers necessary to meet its normal programme. Transport services, mines and farms are also very short of labour.

Trades Union Congress Warning

Another warning has been given by the Trades Union Congress that if demobilisation from the Services is not speeded up serious consequences will arise. It was anticipated that 725,000 would be released from the Services by the end of the year, but it has since been stated that fewer than 500,000 will be released owing to service requirements. At the same time there are complaints that many men and women in the Services are now idle and have to be found routine work to keep them occupied. This applies particularly to women.

Little more than 700,000 workers from all sources will be available for civilian industry by the end of the year instead of over 1,000,000 as anticipated, while over 1,000,000 workers past the age of 60 years will retire from war work this year. At the same time more men between the ages of 18 and 28 will be taken into the Services between now and the end of the year than were recruited during the past six months.

King's Speech Awaited

It is believed that there will have to be a big overhaul of the demobilisation machinery, and that it may b? foreshadowed in the King's Speech at the opening of the new Parliament on August 8.

While there is general agreement that Britain must send the largest forces she can to fight against the Japanese and that this will be done, it is also imperative that unless the manpower position is reviewed revised plans for the revival of Britain's peacetime industries will suffer and her effort to regain international trade be severely restricted. As reported previously, British manufacturers have no lack of orders from all over the world.

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Bibliographic details

BRITISH INDUSTRY IK DIFFICULTIES, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

Word Count

BRITISH INDUSTRY IK DIFFICULTIES Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 169, 19 July 1945

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