HC Deb 16 June 1958 vol 589 c669
33. Dr. King

asked the Minister of Supply the approximate number of those engaged in all branches of the aircraft industry; and his estimate of the number that will remain at the end of the reorganisation of the industry.

The Minister of Supply (Mr. Aubrey Jones)

About 250,000. The number in the future will depend upon the volume of orders obtained. On present orders and inquiries it would be about 150,000 in five years' time.

Dr. King

Is the Minister aware that this industry recruited in the post-war years a large body of highly skilled men at all levels? May we take it that one of the right hon. Gentleman's main duties is to see that the scaling down of the industry is scientifically planned so that the skilled ability of these men is not allowed to be wasted but is diverted to some parallel occupation?

Mr. Jones

I have recommended to the industry that, in so far as it spread itself into activities other than aircraft, so the problems arising from the contraction of orders for aircraft would be mitigated. Diversification would be a good policy to pursue.