Oral Answers to Questions — Aircraft Production (Idle Time).

– in the House of Commons on 18th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Purbrick Mr Reginald Purbrick , Liverpool, Walton

asked the Minister of Aircraft Production whether he is aware of the discontent in a certain aircraft factory, where men who are being paid £5 a week and doing nothing to earn it, want to get released so that they can engage in real war work; and whether this factory is paid on the cost-plus basis?

Photo of Mr Frederick Montague Mr Frederick Montague , Islington West

The factory to which it is assumed my hon. Friend refers is just beginning production of a new type of equipment. Every endeavour is made to find alternative work for men whose normal work is interrupted by the teething troubles which are inevitable in the early stages of production. I am aware that there has been an element of discontent in this factory, and steps have been taken, including measures to strengthen the management, by the appointment of a new Joint Works Manager, and I expect that the difficulties mentioned will be effectually overcome. The Answer to the last part of the Question is in the negative.

Photo of Mr Reginald Purbrick Mr Reginald Purbrick , Liverpool, Walton

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that in this factory a man was recently fined—he was not fined, but he was dismissed—because he had had 20 weeks at £5 a week and nothing to do during that period?

Photo of Mr Frederick Montague Mr Frederick Montague , Islington West

I notice that the statement has now gone up from 15 weeks to 20 weeks. It is considerably exaggerated. This man was offered alternative employment in the factory and refused to take it.

Photo of Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson , Birmingham Handsworth

Why should this state of affairs exist at all?

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Will there be a joint consultative committee, on which the workers will be represented, in this particular factory?

Photo of Mr Frederick Montague Mr Frederick Montague , Islington West

There is such a committee in existence, and I would suggest that it should be used rather than that there should be unofficial representations in this House on subjects of this character.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

I am delighted to hear it, because I did not know of the fact.