§ 26. Mr. Rankin
asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is taking to ensure continued employment at Renfrew Airport for the 500 men who are now threatened with redundancy.
§ Mr. Heath
My local officers have arranged with the employer concerned that should the threatened redundancy take place those affected will be given an opportunity of registering for employment in advance of their discharge. Workers so registering will be submitted to any suitable vacancy notified to my Department, but there are unlikely to be such vacancies at Renfrew Airport.
§ Mr. Rankin
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that is a most unsatisfactory answer? Does he realise that this is the second time in four years that the whole future of this maintenance base has been put in jeopardy and that in 1955, when 400 workers were displaced, the Government introduced new contracts to the airport? Now that 500 are threatened with unemployment, can they not give similar help? Will he keep 657 in mind that the new Heralds, which are being introduced by B.E.A., require to be serviced? Why should they not be serviced at Renfrew?
§ Mr. Heath
The two points which the hon. Member has made will be considered and investigated. As he knows, the change over maintenance is due to the change of aircraft by those who use the airport. If the customers change their aircraft and they cannot be serviced at Renfrew, it is difficult to keep the same employment position there. In answer to Question No. 5, which was not asked, I should have been able to say that by following this procedure in the case of Scottish Aviation on a previous occasion, a very large number of people were placed by my Department and by other means. One is hopeful that a similar result will follow in this case.