asked the Minister of Aircraft Production whether he is aware that the works committee of a large aircraft factory recently applied to his Department for the reception of a deputation to complain about the inefficient state of the factory's production; that no reply was sent to the letter of application, with a consequential bad effect upon the morale of the workers; and whether he has any statement to make thereon?
A representative of my Ministry recently visited the factory concerned and had a long talk with both the management and the shop stewards. I am glad to be able to inform my hon. Friend that, as a result of this visit, many misunderstandings were cleared and that the first meeting of a newly-formed joint works committee, at which production matters will be considered, was held on Monday of this week, when many matters were discussed between management and men in a spirit of harmony and helpful co-operation.
Is not the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that in my letter to the Department I asked why the application of the committee, dated 11th October of last year, had received no reply from his Department; and is he aware that a deputation from this factory is now in this House to draw his attention to complaints about conditions in the factory?
On the first point, the application was sent to the wrong Ministry. I do not make an excuse of that. I very much regret the delay, and I hope that the hon. Member will convey my apologies. On the other point, I do not know anything about it.
Will my right hon. and gallant Friend give an assurance that these works production committees will not be pressed upon any organisation unless the managerial side and the workers desire it?