§ 44. Mr. Hunter
asked the Minister of Supply if he will investigate the position in aircraft factories which have been manufacturing military aircraft and where production has been curtailed with a view to these factories being used for the manufacture of civilian aircraft.
§ Mr. Aubrey Jones
Where military aircraft production is declining, it is for the companies themselves to seek other work, including civil aircraft work. They are 689 doing this actively, and I have every confidence that they will continue to do so.
§ Mr. Hunter
Will the Minister give encouragement and help to these factories, which are seeking the production of civilian aircraft, in view of the slowing-down of orders for military aircraft and the fact that in these factories there is skilled labour which is used to this type of production?
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
The right hon. Gentleman, I gather, said that where, because defence orders are cancelled, work at these factories is reduced, the Government regard the companies as being responsible for seeking new outlets. Do not the Government accept some responsibility to assist them in this matter?
§ Mr. Mayhew
Is the Minister not aware that, in general, a number of Royal Ordnance factories, including Woolwich Arsenal, are quite capable of taking on civil work on occasions like this? Is it not most unfair that private firms can go elsewhere for their orders but that the R. O. F. s are prohibited from doing so?