HC Deb 24 November 1965 vol 721 c498
23. Mr. Weatherill

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many men employed by his Department at former Air Ministry establishments are registered as dilutee metal working craftsmen; and how many have upwards of 15, 20 or 25 years' service in skilled capacities.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Air Force (Mr. Bruce Milian)

The number of workers employed in skilled metal working trades by the Air Force Department who are registered as dilutees is 524. Fifty-nine of these have more than 25 years' service; 193 have between 20 and 25 years' service and 90 have between 15 and 20 years' service.

Mr. Weatherill

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that the figures which he has given are a very poor encouragement to other people who may have to seek retraining through the Government's training centres in future? Will he take steps to ensure that these men get the status to which their skills entitle them through experience?

Mr. Millan

The exact status of these men is a matter for negotiation with the trade unions concerned. The agreements with the trade unions are of very long standing, but, as a matter of practical importance, the number of disadvantages under which these men suffer is very small indeed.