asked the Minister of Labour what information he has about aircraft workers from this country seeking similar employment in South Africa at the present time; what reciprocal facilities are available for such workers seeking information about employment opportunities in South Africa; and if he will make a statement.
No vacancies of any kind have been notified to our Department by any South African firm. Anyone seeking information about employment opportunities would, since no vacancies are held, be referred to South Africa House without any record being maintained of the enquiry. I hope that aircraft workers will remain in this country where there is a good demand for their skills.
In view of the comment the hon. Gentleman made when I did not ask a supplementary on my last Question, may I point out that it was not the excellence of his Answer but the clock which caused me to take that action. Taking the two Questions together, does he not agree that it would be very much better if a full record were kept of exactly what these workers are going to, so that there will be a clear indication that the sort of thing that the hon. Gentleman hoped would happen is in fact happening? If he really believes that, would it not be an advantage to do what I have suggested?
I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will agree that there are real difficulties in maintaining records of people who seek employment in South Africa when neither the jobs nor the men are registered with the employment exchanges.Despite all the rumours, so far as we are aware, no vacancies for any such jobs have been notified to any employment exchanges.
Since one of the professed purposes of the cancellation of the TSR2 was to make available skilled labour for employment in other key industries in this country, will the hon. Gentleman ask his right hon. Friend to do his level best to keep closely in touch with the movement of anybody rendered redundant as a result of this cancellation and keep the House informed how many get transferred to other employment and, of equal importance, from which employment they have been moved?
Redeployment was not the professed intention of the cancellation, although it is an outcome of it. All the evidence at the moment is that there has not been widespread unemployment as a result. The men are being redeployed into useful industry. If the hon. Gentleman looks again at some of the answers which have been given recently to Questions he will see that the effect of the TSR2 cancellation has been of great benefit indeed to the export industries of this country.