HC Deb 04 February 1942 vol 377 cc1161-2
13. Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Minister of Aircraft Production whether he is aware that a certain aero-engine reconditioning factory has not been working to more than 10 per cent. capacity during the last four weeks; and whether he has any plan whereby these works may be continuously employed up to a reasonable capacity?

Lieut. -Colonel Moore-Brabazon

I am aware that this factory was working below its full capacity during January, but the falling off was nothing like the extent indicated by my hon. Friend. It was due mainly to the drop in the number of engines coming forward for repair. The position at this factory is being rectified by the diversion to it of engines normally repaired by other factories where alternative work is available.

Mr. Edwards

Is not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that in the past three months this factory has been working to very low capacity, and that the men have been kept kicking their heels for weeks on end?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

The repair situation is always difficult, because I never know what the supply is going to be. In this particular works I am sending engines so as to keep them on full load capacity and changing the supply of engines to factories nearer London. I am sure that my hon. Friend will agree that that is the best way to deal with a difficult situation.

Mr. Kirkwood

Is not the rumour prevalent that in this factory the men are going about kicking their heels?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

Sometimes it is very nice to think that there are no engines to repair, but I am rather swung between the two positions—wanting to keep the workpeople busy and pleased that there are no crashes and no engines to repair. I am often in that cleft stick. I cannot guarantee that factories that mend anything will be full to capacity. On the other hand, I must keep an efficient repair unit going in case of need.