HC Deb 01 February 1949 vol 460 cc1496-7
24. Mr. Keeling

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has any plan for finding skilled work for the engineers now becoming unemployed owing to the closing of the General Aircraft factory at Feltham.

Mr. Isaacs

The employment exchange service has been carefully planned to assist redundant workers to obtain employment suitable to their skill and experience. It is designed to meet, in its normal operation, just such a situation as this.

Mr. Keeling

Yes, but what about the factory? Will the Government give an assurance that they will not encourage the conversion of this factory into mere storage space, which would give no employment for the hundreds of skilled men involved, and have they considered using it for aircraft maintenance?

Mr. Isaacs

Those questions ought to be put to another Minister. I can only deal with the service of employment within the Ministry of Labour.

Mr. Mikardo

Is the Minister aware that these private fluctuations in employment in the aircraft manufacturing industry in Feltham, Reading and elsewhere will not be obviated until this industry is run in a planned way under public ownership?

Mr. Bramall

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this creates a particularly difficult situation in an area affected by the movement of the Leyland Works from Kingston?

Mr. Isaacs

The question I was asked was, what steps were being taken to find skilled work for these men? I was saying that we are doing what we can to find appropriate work for them in accordance with their service. These other questions are not for me to answer.