HC Deb 02 February 1965 vol 705 cc886-8
Q5. Sir Richard Glyn

asked the Prime Minister what steps he is taking to ensure that the scientists and engineers, who will become redundant as a result of his proposed reduction in the existing programme of research and development on weapons, change over to civil industry in this country in preference to continuing their present work overseas on behalf of other countries.

The Prime Minister

Until the review is complete it is not possible to say what redeployment of scientists and engineers will be involved. Meanwhile, the Departments concerned with scientific research and the technological drive in industry are pressing ahead with plans for extending research in the civil field, particularly in export industries.

Sir Richard Glyn

Can the House assume from this Answer that the Government are taking no steps whatever in this regard? Is the Prime Minister aware that his Government's policy—[HON. MEMBERS: "Reading."]—no, I am not reading, with respect to the Prime Minister. Is the Prime Minister aware that his Government's policy has created the maximum of uncertainty amongst aircraft workers in this country, that they are exposed to offers of £60 a week plus £40 overtime, making £100 a week, to transfer their skills to overseas countries, and that, if the Government, having created this uncertainty, are doing absolutely nothing to retain these skilled workers in this country, they are promoting a brain drain of the most excessive and dangerous form?

The Prime Minister

I hope, Sir, as I said yesterday, if I catch your eye later in the afternoon, to deal with the whole problems raised in the aircraft industry, problems raised by the facts, by the cost, and by the time scale of some of the projects which were in force.

Mr. Peter Emery

Does the Prime Minister realise that there are considerable rumours at Aldermaston about mass redundancy at Aldermaston? Will he give some assurance, as indeed his colleagues gave assurances before the election, that there will not be redundancies at Aldermaston?

The Prime Minister

I shall be quite prepared to make a statement on Aldermaston if the hon. Gentleman will table a Question about Aldermaston.