§ The Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Wingfield Digby)
I regret that the reply is "No, Sir." The hon. Member may be assured that the report on the outstanding recommendations will be sent as soon as possible.
§ Mr. Albu
Can the Civil Lord say, in view of the fact that the recommendations were made over a year ago, whether the reason for the extraordinary delay is really the very serious consideration by the Admiralty of the recommendations made for improving the structure of the dockyards or whether, as it appears, it is due to the effect of a stonewalling policy?
§ Mr. Awbery
Is the Civil Lord aware that commercial men frequently know very little about the movement and working of ships in port, and ships' officers 171 know very little about the commercial side of the undertaking? Would he consider making a commercial man manager of a port and a ship's officer or admiral responsible for the marine side of the work?
§ Mr. Digby
The interest of the Admiralty Whitley Council in the recommendations of the Select Committee was discussed in a preliminary way in December, 1951. There has been some correspondence since that date in which the Staff Side have given an indication of their views. A meeting took place yesterday which discussed some of the recommendations which interest the Whitley Council a further meeting to deal with the remainder is being arranged soon.
§ Mr. Albu
Is not this a very extraordinary reply in view of the fact that the Civil Lord on 16th July informed me that one of the reasons why a reply to the recommendations could not be made was because the Admiralty had to consult the administrative staff side of the Whitley Council? Do I now understand that this consultation only took place for the first time on an organised basis yesterday?
§ Mr. Callaghan
Was the meeting arranged yesterday because my hon. Friend put down a Question for today?
4. Dr. Bennett
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will increase the proportion of disabled persons employed in the Royal Dockyards.
§ Mr. Digby
The proportion of disabled persons employed in the Royal Dockyards is substantially greater than the standard percentage laid down by the Disabled Persons (Employment) Act, 1944. I regret that I can give no undertaking to increase this proportion, as so much of the work in the Royal Dockyards is unsuited to disabled persons.
Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that many people who are lame or otherwise injured make very good clerks and writers, and that there are a lot of these people living near the dockyards and ports?