Aircraft Workers (Employment in South Africa)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Labour – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th May 1965.

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Photo of Mr Joseph Godber Mr Joseph Godber , Grantham 12:00 am, 10th May 1965

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.

Photo of Mr Richard Marsh Mr Richard Marsh , Greenwich

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.

Photo of Mr Joseph Godber Mr Joseph Godber , Grantham

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?

Photo of Mr Richard Marsh Mr Richard Marsh , Greenwich

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.

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West

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?

Photo of Mr Richard Marsh Mr Richard Marsh , Greenwich

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.