HC Deb 25 November 1958 vol 596 cc200-1
18. Mr. Ross

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the concern about unemployment in, and the future of, the aircraft industry in Scotland; and if he will make a statement on the action which he proposes to take.

Mr. Maclay

Her Majesty's Government are very much aware of the concern which is felt about the present position of the aircraft industry in Scotland, and I am in close consultation with my colleagues about it.

Mr. Ross

While thanking the Government through the Secretary of State for the additional order that has been placed for the four Prestwick Twin Pioneers, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that by the end of the year there will be 800 out of a labour force of 2,300 either dismissed or under notice of dismissal? Will he consult with the Prime Minister, who has already shown an interest in this matter, the President of the Board of Trade and other Departments concerned to ensure some further help for the industry to retrieve the immediate position, and a long-term plan for its continued use?

Mr. Maclay

As the hon. Gentleman doubtless knows, there are later Questions on the Order Paper on this subject. However, I can say that my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply and I have already discussed the situation with representatives of the company and we are keeping a close watch on this position along with my other colleagues who are more directly concerned.

Sir T. Moore

Would my right hon. Friend appreciate that the Government are responsible, through their help in starting this industry in Prestwick, for not letting it die now for lack of further help?