§ 52. Mr. Mendelson
asked the Minister of Labour what steps he is now taking 914 to ensure that alternative employment will be available for employees declared redundant at the Ford Motor factory at Doncaster, in view of the announcement by the company on 1st April that 800 men would be dismissed on Friday, 28th June this year.
§ Mr. Mendelson
Is the Minister aware that at about roughly the same time as he was assuring the House last week that no decision about this factory had been finally come to an official statement was being typed in the offices of the Ford Motor Company announcing the dismissal on 28th June of 800 workers employed at the plant? In view of this, can the Minister say why, in a matter of this seriousness, his communications are so faulty as to let him almost mislead the House from comprehending the real situation and to cause Members themselves to dig for the facts that he should have given to the House? Will he give an assurance that he will take serious steps to see that the problem is immediately dealt with, because it is now more urgent than he indicated last week?
§ Mr. Hare
I am glad that the hon. Member made it clear that I was not trying to mislead the House; I certainly was not. I understand that there is as yet no final decision as to whether this factory should be continued in use by the company for some other purpose. I am not certain about the amount of employment offered; that will depend upon the decision. As I have already informed my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, who represents the constituency, I will certainly do all I can to see that if and when men are made redundant the services of my Ministry are made available to try to give them alternative work.
§ Mr. Mendelson
Is the Minister now saying that the company, which was helped by the Government to build a new factory in another part of the country, is not keeping in touch with the Government and not informing the Minister before making a serious announcement of this kind? If that is the situation, 915 will not the right hon. Gentleman ensure that he is brought into consultation at an early stage?