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United States Air Force Base, Sealand (Closure)

Oral Answers to Questions — Employment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th April 1957.

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Mrs. White:

asked the Minister of Labour what is being done to find alternative work for persons displaced as a result of the closing of the United States Air Force base at Sealand.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

Workers who may become redundant will be advised to register at the employment exchanges nearest their homes where everything possible will be done to place them in other work.

Mrs. White:

Will the Minister consult his Ministerial colleagues to make certain that this place is used for some productive purpose when it is handed over by the American forces, since it is a very important financial asset to the district?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

Yes, I realise that it is an important question. The hon. Lady will know that there was an Answer yesterday to say that many matters have not yet been decided, but I will keep closely in touch with the Air Ministry and other Departments concerned.

Photo of Mr James Griffiths Mr James Griffiths , Llanelli

Will the Minister consult the appropriate Defence Departments, because there are other cases in Wales where they have used land, sometimes against local opinion, and now they are closing down, with consequent unemployment? Will he find out what steps' he can take, in consultation with the other Departments, in order to find suitable alternative employment?

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

Yes; on the general question, I think that an appropriate occasion might come in the defence debate for me to give an explanation—I am well aware of the anxieties—and I may then have an opportunity to explain to the House the sort of machinery which has been established.

Mr. Lee:

Is the Minister aware that there is much re-organisation going on in other American Air Force bases besides Sealand? At Burtonwood, for example, hundreds of British workers arc to be displaced, and that, synchronising with our own alterations in defence arrangements, could bring about a serious situation unless looked at very closely.