HC Deb 03 March 1948 vol 448 cc358-9
3. Major Guy Lloyd

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation whether he is aware of the concern felt by many people in Scotland at the impending redundancy of certain leading executives in Scottish aviation; and whether he will inform the House upon what basis decisions with regard to redundancy have been made.

Mr. Lindgren

I am aware that British European Airways Corporation have been examining their organisation with a view to effecting all possible economies in administration. It is, however, entirely a matter of management to decide what posts can be abolished and which staff should be retained.

Major Lloyd

Is the Minister aware that many people in Scotland are, unfortunately, associating this impending redundancy of very distinguished ex-airmen with the recent statement of a Scottish Socialist M.P., who said that people with Tory convictions employed in nationalised industries would find themselves redundant if they were not helpful? Is that the real reason?

Mr. Lindgren

I am not aware of the statement referred to. A reorganisation is in process arising from criticisms by the hon. and gallant Gentleman and his hon. Friends that the Corporations are over-weighted in regard to administrative and executive staff. Now that there is pruning, there still seems to be some objection.

Major Lloyd

With what safeguards?

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Does the hon. Gentleman think that these Corporations are sufficiently well provided wits real experts and that at this stage they can dispense with these experts?

Mr. Lindgren

Yes, Sir. They are well staffed.

Mr. Scollan

Would it not be wiser for the Ministry to retain all the pilots on the staff and find them some other job within the organisation, allowing them so many flying hours, rather than dispense with men for whom we may be looking very shortly?

Mr. Lindgren

The Question refers not to operational staff but to administrative staff.

Mr. M. Lindsay

Does the redundancy apply only to Tory brats?

Air-Commodore Harvey

Whilst appreciating the necessity to reduce staff, may I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to bear in mind that some of these gentlemen concerned have a life-long experience in operating aircraft, and will he impress upon the Corporation not to lose the wealth of talent which they may lose if they get rid of these men?

Mr. Lindgren

I am certain that all the points to which the hon. and gallant Member has referred are borne in mind by those responsible for administration.

Mr. Beswick

With reference to the quotation from the speech by the Scottish Socialist M.P., would my hon. Friend agree that any person in a nationalised Corporation who is not helpful, irrespective of political affiliations, should be declared redundant?

Major Lloyd

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware of the fact that the word "helpful" was used in an entirely different connection?