HC Deb 19 February 1957 vol 565 cc200-1
35. Miss Burton

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the fire at the Jaguar car works, Coventry, on 12th February last; and, as this firm is one of Britain's major dollar earners, if he will make a statement upon the estimated effect on exports.

Mr. Walker-Smith

I know that the House will join with me in expressing sympathy with this virile and enterprising company in the blow which has befallen it. I cannot assess the effects on exports, but I am confident that the company will do all it can to minimise them. I am informed there have been no cancellations of export orders for Jaguar cars and that production has already started again.

Hon. Members

Hear, hear.

Miss Burton

Is the Minister aware that we in Coventry are very proud of this firm and would like to join with him in the tributes paid to management and to workers alike in face of this disaster? Is he also aware, however, that it means that 2,000 more workers in Coventry are now on short-time, because the firm is working three days a week for each section? Will the Minister join with the Minister of Supply in trying to see whether extra contracts cannot be sent to Coventry to help to mitigate this further disaster?

Mr. Walker-Smith

I certainly have the last part of the hon. Lady's supplementary question in mind. The management of the Jaguar company is, however, planning to reabsorb these workers and to start a staggered three-day week for that purpose.