HC Deb 21 January 1942 vol 377 cc337-8
28. Mr. Ness Edwards

asked the Minister of Aircraft Production whether his attention has been drawn to the criticisms of production made by the general manager of General Aircraft, Limited, a copy of which has been sent to him; and whether he has any statement to make thereon?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

I am well aware of the activities of the general manager of General Aircraft, Limited, in regard to the question of production dealt with academically. It is not possible, within the limits of a Parliamentary answer, to deal with all the views expressed by Mr. Gordon England, but it will perhaps suffice if I say that such of the suggestions as are practicable represent the practice of my Department to a much greater extent than he appears to realise.

Mr. Edwards

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that this gentleman is the chairman of the Engineering Industries Association and is of the view that our production is only 50 per cent. of what it could be; and that he is in a very good position to know the general state of the engineering industry which has work under the Ministry of Aircraft Production?

Lieut.-Colonel Moore-Brabazon

This gentleman is also a purveyor of aeroplanes to me, so that I know a good deal about it. On the other hand, hon. Members must remember that a Minister in charge of a production Department like my own is always going to get sniping and nagging, and if it is not coming from Mr. Gordon England, there will always be an England.

Mr. Shinwell

Are we to understand from the right hon. and gallant Gentleman's original answer and his supplementary reply, that he is casting doubts on the qualifications of Mr. Gordon England; is he aware that Mr. Gordon England represents not only himself but a very large volume of opinion of production experts in this country; and does not he think that it is more desirable to reply to points raised by Mr. Gordon England and others concerned than to indulge in the language he has just used and get on with the job?