HC Deb 25 February 1965 vol 707 cc603-4
Q3. Mr. Kershaw

asked the Prime Minister whether the public speech of the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, made at the weekend 6th-7th February at Swadlincote, Derbyshire, on the subject of the aircraft industry, represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Kershaw

Is the Prime Minister aware that his right hon. Friend said on that occasion to aircraft workers protesting about losing their jobs that if we were going to fall at this first attempt, over selfishness, what chance had we of clearing the other and bigger fences which were to come? Does the right hon. Gentleman consider that the aircraft workers are selfish in this regard, and may we have some knowledge as to what the other and bigger fences to come are?

The Prime Minister

I have seen the full report of my right hon. Friend's speech. I think that the reference made by my right hon. Friend was to the need—which, I thought, hon. Gentlemen opposite have been proclaiming for years—for some shift between industries in this country. I believe that the aircraft workers—and I think that this will prove at the end of the day to be the case with the aircraft employers—have shown very real understanding of the need for change in this respect, and I believe that everyone recognises that in addition to the problems of the industry, about which we are certainly very concerned, there is also the problem of the interests of the taxpayer.