HC Deb 14 February 1945 vol 408 cc210-2
31. Mr. Oldfield

asked the Minister of Aircraft Production whether his attention has been called to the serious position arising out of the closing of certain parts of a new factory, erected in Openshaw, Manchester, for the purpose of storage, resulting in the stopping of skilled men and unskilled men and women; and why a new and up-to-date factory, with all modern amenities, should be used for such a purpose, in view of post-war reconstruction instead of a much older factory.

The Minister of Aircraft Production (Sir Stafford Cripps)

The closing of a part of the factory was due to a change in the production programme and the desirability of relieving the labour position in the North west. The accommodation is being used temporarily with the consent of my right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade, for the storage of aircraft components awaiting final assembly. It is essential to store these components within a reasonable distance of the plant where they are to be assembled and there are no other suitable premises available. The placing in alternative employment of the workers concerned is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service, but I understand that no undue difficulty is expected in placing the workers in other employment.

Mr. Oldfield

In view of the information which has come to me only this morning that three engineering firms are waiting to take over part of this factory, will my right hon. and learned Friend consider releasing the factory at once?

Sir S. Cripps

This matter has been very thoroughly considered, in association with the Board of Trade, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Production, and the action taken is considered to be in the best interests.

32. Mr. Kirby

asked the Minister of Aircraft Production for what purpose his Department is using certain premises which have been indicated to him; and whether, as these premises are situate in a heavily populated area, he intends to release them for ordinary trading purposes at an early date.

Sir S. Cripps

The premises to which my hon. Friend refers are being used for the production of aircraft equipment of urgent operational importance I regret that there is no prospect of releasing the premises for civilian trading until the demand for this equipment is substantially reduced

Mr. Kirby

Is it not a fact that a large number of other factory premises are being released? Is it not possible to stop production in this heavily populated area like this?

Sir S. Cripps

It would not be possible without forgoing instruments which are needed at the present moment for operational purposes.