§ 24. Mr. HORE-BELISHA
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware of the disappointment caused in the works department, Devonport Dock yard, where a number of men whose ser vice ranges from 27 to 31 years and who 1276 are nearing the age of 50, aspire in vain to establishment; and whether, seeing that a number of skilled labourers have retired since the War and no workmen in the works department have been established in their places, he will consider the claims of these men of long service to establishment?
I am aware of the disappointment referred to by the hon. Member, but I am afraid it is common to large numbers of workmen in all departments of the Dockyards. The present position is largely a legacy of the reductions during the post-War period but I must point out that the Dockyard establishment system has never provided established places for all workmen of long service and I cannot give any undertaking to make such changes as would ensure this.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
Is the ideal of the right hon. Gentleman at the Admiralty to make this service an established service as far as possible?
I have already pointed out that we have to deal with the position as we find it. We are dealing with the reductions since the War, and its quite impossible in these circumstances to keep to the old percentage of transfers of hired men to the established service.
I would prefer to have notice as to the exact percentage, but my recollection is that that is what is now being followed.