asked the Minister of Labour whether he will take steps to call up young men who fail to pass their medical examination for the Armed Forces, but who are fit for factory work. for contemporary employment in the aircraft industry, in view of its vital national importance and that it is at present undermanned.
Is my hon. Friend aware that many of these young men escape with such defects as a hammer-toe or flat feet, and does he not think that it is unfair that these men can get a two years' start in their careers over their contemporaries who have to do National Service? Will he ask his right hon. and learned Friend to give much greater thought to it than he evidently has been able to give since this Question was put down?
Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that in the time of the last Government the Members on the benches behind him were most insistent that we should abolish direction of labour, and will he bear in mind that the party opposite quite obviously do not support the hon. Member For Solihull (Mr. M. Lindsay)?
I do not think that that is quite so, and I have said quite plainly in my original answer that to do this thing would be to imply industrial conscription. That is why we are not prepared to look at it at all, but there may be some way of looking at the number of people who escape in this manner. We will consider that.
While welcoming the employment of all men who are to assist in the aircraft industry, is it not a fact that the greatest difficulty is the need for highly skilled workers so that tool and basic work can be done first?