HC Deb 06 May 1969 vol 783 cc235-6
Mr. Raphael Tuck

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I wish to present a Petition signed by employees, many of them highly-skilled technicians at S. G. Brown, Ltd., of Watford, makers of one of the finest gyroscopic compasses in the world, concerning the proposed closure of the S. G. Brown factory at Shakespeare Street, Watford.

The Petition says that the closure . . would constitute a departure from the considerations laid down by Her Majesty's Government in 1959 as conditions precedent to the sale of the company by the Government. In 1944, when the company was taken over by the Government, it was worth £55,000 and by 1959, after making profit after profit, it was worth £1¼ million. When the Conservative Government then proposed to denationalise the company, against a storm—

Mr. Speaker: Order. The hon. Gentleman must submit his Petition briefly.

Mr. Tuck

With respect Mr. Speaker, when the Conservative Government proposed to denationalise the company, they gave an assurance that they would sell only to purchasers who could assure them of their ability to provide continuity employment of the same highly-skilled type.

Unfortunately, after it was denationalised, it made loss after loss. Now, the parent company of Hawker Siddeley proposes to close the factory at Shakespeare Street, Watford, and transfer the work to Lostock, where there is slack. The Petition says that the closure … will cause widespread unemployment and deprive the nation of the valuable technical skills at present available in this industry. It concludes: Wherefore your Petitioners pray that the Honourable The Commons of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will use every effort to avert the said proposed closure, by renationalisation, by urging the Industrial Re-organisation Corporation to give aid or by using any other means deemed suitable. And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.

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