HC Deb 25 July 1963 vol 681 cc1769-70
35. Mr. Wainwright

asked the President of the Board of Trade what assistance he will give to any firm in this country or from overseas to take advantage of the offer of the displaced Ford workers at Doncaster to put their redundancy pay into promoting a new industry in the factory building which is to be closed down.

27. Mr. Jeger

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware of the plan by the displaced Ford workers at Doncaster to invest their redundancy pay in a new industry there; and what assistance he is giving in finding a tenant for the factory.

Mr. Erroll

I am aware of this proposal put forward by Ford workers in Doncaster. I understand, however, that no decision has yet been reached as to the future of this privately-owned factory.

Mr. Wainwright

Will the President of the Board of Trade take more seriously the offer made by the Ford workers? It is a unique offer, and further proves that the men employed at this factory are of such quality that we should make certain that there is work for them in this plant. They have not had a strike there for 22 years. Is he further aware that relations between management and men are of the best? Will not he, therefore, do more than he has said he will do to ensure a continuation of work at this plant in Doncaster and in future not take work from Doncaster to other parts of the country, so robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Mr. Erroll

Unemployment in Doncaster is about at the level of the national average. I must continue to give first priority to the development districts, as the hon. Gentleman must have noticed from the Questions tabled by his hon. Friends earlier in the afternoon. I have every sympathy with what the hon. Gentleman has said about the quality of the men and the management. I admire the action of the men in handling their severance payments in the way that has been announced, but this is a privately-owned factory and it is for the owners of the factory to make the necessary arrangements.