Nuffield College Social Reconstruction Survey
Stroud Valley Area
The report on the the Stroud area is readable and brief. The arrangement is good but the information given, though fairly full, is not utilised to the best advantage from the facts put forward more conclusions could have been drawn. Some necessary details are omitted, such as, for instance, effect of pre war unemployment, approximate number of workers who are only temporarily settled in the Stroud Valley and the approximate number of one time Stroud Valley workers who are now in the services. Nevertheless it is a good report and the and the investigator is almost justified in claiming that. “On the basis the data assembled, it should be possible to anticipate with some certainty the industrial situation when the war ends.”
Page numbers in report
1 Special Problems. At the outbreak of the war there was a considerable volume of immigration by evacuees quite independent of the industrial changes. The number of these evacuees likely to remain permemently is expected to be very small
2. App. 2
Transfer of Gov. Depts. To Stroud Area
The R.A.F. Accounts Section and Admiltary Stores, both transferred to Stroud, employ between them 1342 persons, the RAF employing 898 and the Admiltary 444. RAF Accounts will presumably leave at the end of the War but the Admiralty Stores is likely to remain for some years, as its previous establishment has been heavily damaged by enemy action.
Transfer of Industry to Stroud Two manufacturing businesses have transferred to the Stroud area. Hoffman's an engineering firm, previously of Chelmsford and Sperry's, scientific instrument makers, previously of Brentford. In 1941, Hoffmans employed 611 persons and sperry's 969 respectively. It is expected that the Sperry's will return to Brentford at the end of the war but that Hoffman's will remain in the Stroud area
4 Appen 1
14 Present Labour Supply 1938 1941
Number employed 9082 10952
Probable number in the services 1941 350-400
(This is not given but I have taken the difference between numbers employed 9082 in 1938 and 8699 in 1940 = 383)
According to the report Hoffman's employ 250 Hoffman's employ 250 Stroud people, their other employees being from the Surrounding villages.
(It is difficult to believe that Hoffman's employ no more than 250 Stroud people in view of the fact that they had built 250 houses themselves and persuaded a local builder to build a further 250
Accommodation for 200 families and 300 single people has been provided for the benefit of Sperry's employees. Many of Sperry's employees come from outlying districts, 8 buses being used for their transportation.( Sperry's work a full day shift and a small night shift. Assuming, therefore, 10 bus loads, the number from outlying districts employed at Sperry's is approximatley 300-400) There is no way of estimating the number of local employees of R.A.F. Accounts and Admiltary Stores.
Contracting Industries Between 1938 and 1941 employment in textiles declined from 559 to 450 and employment in clothing declined from 285 to 171. No other industry showed a marked decline
Conclusion Post war problems centre round (a) admiltary stores and R.A.F. Accounts Dept. and (b) evaccuation of War industries. It is probable that R.A.F.accounts will evacuate immediately the War ends but that Admaralty Stores will remain for some years. Hoffmans have declared their intention to stay in Stroud while it is understood that Sperry's will return to Brentford at the end of the War.
Miss B L Cohen
The Report includes a short survey of Dursley. The prosperity of Dursley is practically wholly dependent upon the fortunes of one firm Lister and Co Ltd.
Out of a total of 4742 employed in Dursley, Listers employ over 3000. Lister is an old established firm of general engineers.
The investigator concludes that there is no post war problem for Dursley
(signed) W V Walburton Feb 12. 43
I agree with Mr Walburton that the Chief problems which are likely to face the district are here summarized. But the report would be more useful to us if it told us which clothing and textile firms had had their premises requisitioned, by which Departments and for what purposes. We arranged for the investigators to have access to the Factory Control registers in the regions so that the information was at their disposal.
N.B. It is suggested that enquiry from the main office of Sperrys Gyroscope Co of Brentford would indicate their post-war intentions on which divergent views are apparently held locally.
(Before I send this file on to Professor Allan can you enlighten me on the reason for the difference in the figures of employment given on p.2 and those in App I. And are the figures no employed or nos arrived?) RLC 13/2
Printed memo to Miss Cohen
Before we consider this Report any further – or consider the possible desirability of getting Mr Barry Kay to elaborate it with the assistance of the Nuffield Investigators, I think we want to clear up one or two points at Headquarters. Could you take them up?
What was the average unemployment in the Stroud Valley before the war? Both the percentage and the absolute figures.
What numbers are employed by the Air Ministry for their offices in Stroud and how many of these are local? I think the Ministry of Labour or Treasury would be able to give you this information.
Can the Treasury give us any idea whether the Air Ministry will stay in Stroud after the war (we can assume that the Admiralty stores will go back in due course – they are in requisitioned factory buildings with the machinery stored and they will want in peace time I imagine, to be near the dockyard.) Perhaps this latter assumption should be checked with Mr. Le Maitre
What number of Stroud women have been called up for the Forces or directed to work in other parts of the country? I suppose Mr Barry Kay could find this out best from the local Ministry of Labour
I should rather have doubted whether Stroud would have a post war problem except that of ensuring sufficient labour for the textile factories, some of which are large exporters. Certainly the Valley is grossly over-populated now and if there is any likelyhood of the Air Ministry and the War factories staying, the problem may even be one of over employment.