3. Brigadier Clarke
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will now consider reverting to staggered holidays in Her Majesty's dockyards.
§ 4. Mr. Burden
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will now authorise staggered holidays to be restored in Her Majesty's Dockyards for 1955.
§ 13. Mr. Bottomley
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will make a statement about the annual holiday period in Her Majesty's dockyards.
§ 19. Mr. J. J. Astor
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will make known the Admiralty's policy concerning holidays in Her Majesty's dockyards for next year.
§ The Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. Wingfield Digby)
Future arrangements for holidays in Admiralty industrial establishments are now being reviewed in the light of the experience of 1954.
Does my hon. Friend realise that staggered holidays were very unpopular from the point of view of the dockyard and of the city and have put everybody out of gear?
§ Mr. Bottomley
While recognising the necessity for consultations between the -trade unions and the Admiralty, may I ask if it is not a fact that Government policy calls for staggered holidays? Has not the officially-sponsored British Travel and Holidays Association made representations to the Admiralty suggesting a return to staggered holidays?
§ Mr. Digby
There are real difficulties for us here. We are under an obligation to run Admiralty establishments efficiently. Since the additional week's holiday has been granted it is more difficult to do this with staggered holidays, as double the number would be away at any one time. We are taking all the various factors into consideration in reviewing this matter.
§ Mr. Burden
Will my hon. Friend consider the position of the Medway towns quite separately from other dockyards because there is a great deal of resentment? In view of the fact that in wartime the dockyards could not be closed a whole fortnight but would have to be open, is it not wise to carry on now with staggered holidays there in such a way as they would have to do in war?
§ Mr. Foot
Will the hon. Gentleman recognise that his statement that the Admiralty is under an obligation to run the dockyards efficiently will create lively interest and even surprise in the dockyards? Can he say when an announcement about staggered holidays will be made? Can we have an assurance that the trade unions will be fully consulted?