Aircraft Workers (Emigration)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th November 1966.

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Photo of Mr Raymond Dobson Mr Raymond Dobson , Bristol North East 12:00 am, 30th November 1966

asked the Minister of Aviation if he will give an estimate of the number of professional men and technicians who have left the aircraft industry to work abroad in foreign-based companies.

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

I would refer my hon. Friend to my right hon. Friend's reply to a similar Question by the hon. Member for Richmond, Surrey (Mr. A. Royle) on 18th October—[Vol. 734, c. 10.] In addition, 230 technicians are estimated to have emigrated in 1965, the only year for which information is available.

Photo of Mr Raymond Dobson Mr Raymond Dobson , Bristol North East

Would my hon. Friend not agree that some of the figures which are released are highly exaggerated and that much more accurate information is needed in order not to upset people who are still working and need to work in the industry for many years?

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

Yes. The situation can be exaggerated, but it is a matter with which my right hon. Friend is keeping very closely in touch.

Photo of Mr Cranley Onslow Mr Cranley Onslow , Woking

Will the hon. Gentleman not agree that the Minister has not got sufficient information to show whether these figures are exaggerated or not? Is he not very short of information on the subject, and should more research not be done? Should he not accept that the only way to stop the brain drain is to provide a decent continuous work load in this country?

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

It is the aim of my right hon. Friend's present negotiations to secure an efficient industry. As he said in the debate last week, we left the industry in 1951 in a much healthier state than we found it when we took it over again in 1964.

Photo of Mr Robert Carr Mr Robert Carr , Mitcham

Is the hon. Gentleman aware of what appear to be very factual figures in relation to certain important plants about the brain drain given by the Action Committee for European Space? These seem to be very specific figures. Does he accept or deny them?

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

I think that they are not beyond criticism.