asked the Minister of Aircraft Production, how many players took part in the rehearsals of a play in the canteen of an aircraft factory of which he has been given the location; if, as only one employee of the firm took part in those rehearsals, proper supervision was made over the outsiders who came into the factory to attend those rehearsals; and why his Department is not concerned with how long the rehearsals took when they were held in an aircraft factory from which the public is ordinarily excluded?
Is it not a fact that in any' factory under the supervision of the Department a lot of outsiders can be brought into the factory in order that a play can be given there on a Sunday?
The canteen of this factory is just within the entrance gates, and there is a considerable space between the canteen and the factory itself. It was in the canteen that these play rehearsals took place, and there were security arrangements made to see that unauthorised persons should not go beyond the canteen.
asked the Minister of Aircraft Production the number of 20-seater coaches and other motor vehicles used in connection with the production of a play rehearsed and produced in an aircraft factory, the location of which he is aware of; what total mileage was travelled by these vehicles on this business; what quantity of petrol was used; who authorised the use of motor vehicles and petrol on a play that had no bearing on the repair or production of aircraft; and whether he will order an investigation into the reason for these abuses and the punishment of the culprits?
One 20-seater coach. was used on 2nd April, one on 4th April and two on 5th April. The total mileage covered by these coaches and other vehicles used was 528 miles; 42 gallons of petrol were used. The use of the coaches and the petrol were authorised by the management. The last part of the Question is a matter for my right hon. and gallant Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power.
I do not think in every case we should say that it is a waste of fuel to take entertainments of this sort to a service station or to some of our factories and canteens. It may be a matter of opinion whether this play was a good one, but I think, in general, it is good to have entertainments for the workers in the factories.
asked the Minister of Aircraft Production whether, when the managing director of the aircraft factory, of which he has been informed, gave his assurance that there would not be present so many executive officers at similar meetings, he was given to understand that meetings to discuss future plays were contemplated by the managing director?
No future plays were mentioned, but I have no desire to limit the power of the management to organise plays, entertainments and social functions for their employees where these do not interfere with production or security.
If executive officers absent themselves from the necessary work of producing aircraft to attend the production of a play, is that not an entirely different matter from sending E.N.S.A. to entertain the workers?