Aircraft Industry (Skilled Personnel)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Supply – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Benjamin Parkin Mr Benjamin Parkin , Paddington North 12:00 am, 2nd December 1957

asked the Minister of Supply what plans he has for a comprehensive scheme, along the lines of that prepared for the Armed Forces, for compensation on redundancy and training for fresh employment for technicians, designers and other highly specialised workers in the aircraft industry whose skills will not be required as a result of changes in weapon technique.

Photo of Mr Aubrey Jones Mr Aubrey Jones , Birmingham, Hall Green

None, Sir. The two problems are surely quite different.

Photo of Mr Benjamin Parkin Mr Benjamin Parkin , Paddington North

Will the Minister bear in mind that these people have spent a lifetime acquiring more and more skill in a very narrow and specialised field? Will he try in the present difficult situation to achieve two things, first, to get justice for these people; and secondly, to see that the nation, which incidentally has paid for this skill, does not lose such a valuable asset when most required for civil aircraft?

Photo of Mr Aubrey Jones Mr Aubrey Jones , Birmingham, Hall Green

I agree with the two premises put forward by the hon. Member, especially with the second. As a matter of fact, these technicians, scientists and engineers are in much demand elsewhere, and it is very important that their services should be used elsewhere.