HC Deb 26 January 1955 vol 536 cc156-7
51. Mr. Rankin

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he is now prepared to make a statement on the future of the Engineering Maintenance Base at Renfrew Airport.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir.

Mr. Rankin

In view of the pressing nature of the problem and the disturbance that it is causing among those who are employed in the engineering maintenance base, can the Minister give us any idea when he proposes to reach a decision?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman is aware that strong representations were made to me by various local interests that no decision should be made until they have had an opportunity to express their views.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Is it not a fact that the proposed change is being made not on its merits but at the instance of transatlantic interests which are inimical to the people who are now working at the Renfrew base?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

There is nothing whatever in that suggestion. The proposal was put forward by the British European Airways Corporation on the ground that, in its view, it made for economical management.

Sir G. Lloyd

Is my right hem. Friend aware that the great majority of the people of Scotland will welcome the patient way in which he has considered the matter and are glad that he will not be rushed into a decision?

Mr. Woodburn

Will the right hon. Gentleman keep in mind that there is a considerable disturbance in Scottish minds at any suggestion of taking industry south, in view of what happened between the wars? Apart altogether from the economic question, will he keep in mind the important social aspect of the problem?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I realise that there is a good deal of feeling on the subject.