HC Deb 08 April 1968 vol 762 cc882-3
51. Mr. Leadbitter

asked the Minister of Technology what discussions he has had in connection with the General Electric Company-Associated Electrical Industries merger on the effects of the reorganisation of the industry on the development areas; and what are the employment prospects for men and women in Hartlepool at the present Associated Electrical Industries factory.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Technology (Dr. Jeremy Bray)

A number of discussions with the General Electric Company about the effects of reorganisation following the merger have taken place. G.E.C. is well aware of the advantages, both to the company and to the nation, of maintaining and expanding their establishments in the development areas. As part of the rationalisation of its telecommunications activities I understand that it is intended to increase the work load at A.E.I. Hartlepool. This should ensure a continuing and substantial level of employment at this factory.

Mr. Leadbitter

Is my hon. Friend aware that his Answer will be particularly welcomed in the North-East but, arising from the information he has now given to the House, is he further aware that this is the first indication for many workers in Hartlepools that there will definitely be an increased work load, and there is considerable anxiety about present promises of reducing work loads? Will he therefore encourage the organisation of G.E.C. and A.E.I. to consult more with the unions so that confidence can be restored?

Dr. Bray

I am grateful for my hon. Friend's encouragement. We always encourage firms to consult with the unions in these matters.