HC Deb 03 May 1944 vol 399 cc1302-3
13. Mr. Hugh Lawson

asked the Minister of Aircraft Production if, in view of the satisfactory increase of production of aircraft by Short Brothers since this firm passed into public ownership, he will take over the remainder of the aircraft industry.

Sir S. Cripps

No, Sir.

Mr. Lawson

While thanking the Minister for his reply, may I ask if he is aware that the answer he gave to a Question last week has given considerable satisfaction in the country by disposing of the argument that there is nothing incompatible between the public ownership of factories and efficiency?

Sir S. Cripps

I am always glad when an answer of mine gives satisfaction.

Mr. Pickthorn

Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell us when and why he changed his opinion that it would not be possible to make any valid comparison of the output of Short's, owing to changes of production planned before the change of management?

Sir S. Cripps

When we have had sufficiently long experience, in order to get that information.

Mr. Shinwell

Is not the right hon. and learned Gentleman's answer that the State is not prepared to take over the aircraft industry, a very unsatisfactory one from a Socialist?

Sir Irving Albery

Does the right hon. Gentleman wish the House to understand that the circumstances in which the present production of Short Bros. is forthcoming are in any way comparable to the circumstances existing before it was taken over?

Sir S. Cripps

I am quite satisfied that the circumstances are different owing to the change of management.