Coventry Gauge and Tool Company (Contracts)

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th April 1959.

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Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South 12:00 am, 29th April 1959

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what alternative naval contracts are to be offered by the Admiralty to the Coventry Gauge and Tool Company to counterbalance the transfer of existing contracts from Coventry elsewhere.

Photo of Mr Ian Orr-Ewing Mr Ian Orr-Ewing , Hendon North

No additional naval contracts can be offered for this purpose. As I explained to my hon. Friend the Member for South Angus (Sir J. Duncan) on 22nd April, it is for the firm to decide at which of its factories work should be carried out.

Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South

While not wishing the unemployment figures to remain at the high level in Angus to which the Government have brought them, may I ask the hon. Gentleman to try to realise that we are raising this matter because of the wastage of skill which will be involved in Coventry? Is he aware that we are very disturbed that at Coventry Gauge and Tool Company skilled machine tool operators are having to leave and are not finding jobs commensurate with their skill? Does the Parliamentary Secretary say that that is Government policy, as he did last week?

Photo of Mr Ian Orr-Ewing Mr Ian Orr-Ewing , Hendon North

I said it was Government policy generally to encourage work to go to areas of high unemployment. That is exactly what has happened in this instance, and the hon. Lady herself confirms that the unemployment figures for Angus are very many times above the figures for Coventry.

Photo of Miss Elaine Burton Miss Elaine Burton , Coventry South

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, and as the Parliamentary Secretary does not understand the problem, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.