HC Deb 01 July 1959 vol 608 cc438-40
7. Mr. Denzil Freeth

asked the Minister of Labour what additional facilities he will provide at the end of 1960 to help the 570 civilians now employed at No. 41 Group Headquarters, Royal Air Force station, Andover, who will then become redundant.

Mr. Iain Macleod

It is too soon to say how many civilian employees will become redundant at the end of 1960 and whether any additional facilities will then be needed to assist them to find other employment.

Mr. Freeth

Will my right hon. Friend consider keeping in touch with the Secretary of State for Air, so that his regional officer in Andover may contact those who are likely to become redundant, as soon as definite information is known about individual cases?

Mr. Macleod

Yes. We are, of course, closely in touch, but in an area where unemployment is under 1 per cent. it is too far in front of the event to make detailed plans. If advanced registration nearer the time will help, of course we will arrange it.

Mr. Lee

Does the right hon. Gentleman recall the request he made some time ago, which was reinforced from all parts of the House, that employers who are about to discard, or in future will discard, some of their labour should give local employment exchanges as much prior notice as they can? In connection with this industry I have the same problem at Burtonwood. Could the right hon. Gentleman make a special effort to reinforce the original plea which he made?

Mr. Macleod

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that suggestion. Nothing is more helpful to the placing of workers than if I and my officers can have advance information about prospective changes in employment, either up or down.

Mr. Robens

On the question of apprentices, it is common ground on both sides of the House that we do not want to see them have their apprenticeship broken after one or two years, in the way mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) in his supplementary question on Question No. 5. Would the Minister ask his officers to look specially at the question of redundancy in connection with apprentices, who might be transferred to other places at which their apprenticeship could be continued?

Mr. Macleod

I will certainly do so. I was going to write to the hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) about the last Question. I will send a copy to the right hon. Gentleman, if I may.