HC Deb 26 November 1962 vol 668 cc8-9
10. Mr. Maddan

asked the Minister of Aviation how many of the staff at the Royal Propulsion Establishment, Westcott, were, respectively, fully or partly engaged on work connected with Blue Water at the time of its abandonment; and how many of these are still working in the establishment.

Mr. J. Amery

Seven of the staff at Westcott were working full-time on Blue Water and part-time work amounted to the equivalent of another two. These staff are all still required for important work at the establishment.

Mr. Maddan

Does my right hon. Friend not agree that, after English Electric had to sack 1,200 people following the abandonment of Blue Water, it is a little strange to find advertisements going out over the B.B.C. from his Ministry advertising for qualified electronic engineers for production planning, development and inspection of guided missiles? Should not the economies fall equally on Government establishments as well as on the defence industry?

Mr. Amery

Where the Government establishments are concerned, I am sure my hon. Friend will realise that some of the members of the Westcott staff to whom I have referred were working whole-time and some of them part-time on the project and that there are a great many other projects in progress to which they can easily and desirably be transferred. In the Government establishments, we are short of people all the time. There is a very small number of people involved. What my hon. Friend has said about announcements being put out is news to me. I will certainly look into the matter.