HC Deb 12 November 1936 vol 317 cc1075-6W

asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence if he is aware that a number of highly skilled engineers have left the trade and gone to such jobs as tramcar drivers or conductors, omnibus drivers or conductors, and insurance agents; and seeing that this has happened because of the low wages paid to highly skilled engineers, will he take steps to utilise the services of these skilled men in engineering work for which they are trained and pay them adequate rates of wages?


I am aware that a large number of men left the engineering industry during the depression owing to lack of employment. Recently, owing to the improvement of trade, the number of men employed in the industry has greatly increased and is still rising. During the two years from July, 1934, to July, 1936, the number of insured persons aged 16 to 64 employed in the engineering industry increased by 150,000, or over 18 per cent., and the total at the latter date was the highest since comparable records began to be kept in 1923. As the hon. Member knows, the rates of wages are settled by negotiation between the employers and the trade unions.