§ Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Secretary of State for Air what are the causes of removal of the aircraft depot at Ascot to Chester; whether it is intended to transfer the whole of the, staff; whether removal expenses of the employ—s will be borne by the Department; what are the facilities for housing accommodation on the proposed new site; and, in the event of the men not being transferred, what action is proposed in regard to future employment of the men concerned?
§ Sir S. HOARE
As regards the first part of the question, the buildings at Ascot are of wartime construction and unsatisfactory- for permanent occupation, which has indeed never been contemplated. Accommodation, which would otherwise have been surplus, can be suitably adapted for the purposes of this depot at Sealand, near Chester, which is better situated geographically, and has an aerodrome, whereas there is none at Ascot. As regards the second, third and last parts, the established staff will be transferred and their expenses will be borne by the Department, so far as they are admissible under the regulations. Pivotal men of the temporary staff will also be transferred, and consideration is being given to the question of a grant towards their expenses. The remainder of the temporary staff will be given preferential consideration for employment at Sealand but no expenses nor grant-in-aid will be admissible. As regards the fourth part, civilian employés ordinarily provide their own housing accomodation, but the possibility of making available for this purpose any surplus buildings on the site is being investigated.