HC Deb 25 November 1959 vol 614 cc351-2
24. Mr. Swingler

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty on what date the motor transport depôt at Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, was closed; how many workers were made redundant in consequence; and what efforts were made by his Department to find them alternative employment.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

Clayton Motor Transport Depôt closed on 23rd October. Of the 75 staff employed in April, 19 have been transferred to other work in Admiralty or Government service, 7 have retired or resigned and 49 were discharged. The names of these 49 have been registered in advance at the employment exchange, with the result that 46 have already found other jobs.

Mr. Swingler

It is satisfactory that that is so, but is the Civil Lord aware that many of the workers discharged are greatly dissatisfied about the procedure that was adopted; in the first place, because no real attempt seems to have been made by his Department to find them alternative employment and, secondly, because it is said that no facilities were given to employment exchange officers to go to this depôt to assist them in finding alternative jobs?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

In answer to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, we had an obligation to the established staff which we carried out as meticulously as we could. On the non-established side, we notified their names to the local employment exchanges, and the very fact that 46 out of the 49—and of the other three, one retired because she was already 67 years old—were placed, does bear out that we took considerable trouble to see that they got a continuation of employment.