HC Deb 07 July 1943 vol 390 cc2066-7
12. Commander Bower

asked the Minister of Aircraft Production whether he is aware that dissatisfaction with the management of Short Brothers, Limited, was expressed at a workers' meeting organised by the Amalgamated Engineering Union, and supported by other trade unions, outside a Shorts' factory on 30th June; and what communication he has received from the unions or workers concerned?

Sir S. Cripps

The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes, Sir," and to the second, "None, Sir." I understand, however, that negotiations are pending in regard to the conditions and the rates of wages which were in operation when the new management took over control. These negotiations will, of course, be conducted through the approved machinery.

Commander Bower

Has not my right hon. Friend received a communication dated 3rd July from the Swindon Branch of the Clerical and Administrative Workers Union setting forth 11 different points in which they consider the workers have been unfairly treated by both the old board and the new board?

Sir S. Cripps

I have seen a letter from the Swindon Branch which has no relation to the matters at Rochester, and a number of points were drawn to my attention in that letter. They are all receiving attention, and some have already been dealt with.

Mr. Levy

Are the rumours going about true that production is decreasing instead of increasing since the company has been under my right hon. and learned Friend's command?

Sir S. Cripps

I think that those rumours are perhaps put about by people interested in the old management. They are not true. I said last week what: the position was.

Mr. Gallacher

Is the Minister aware that among the workers there is a deep suspicion that some of the Tories are getting at the management?

Sir S. Cripps

I can assure my hon. Friend that nobody is getting at the management.

Mr. Pickthorn

What evidence has my right hon. and learned Friend that such rumours have been put about by the old management?

Sir S. Cripps

I said I can only suspect that they are put about by the old management.