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Factory (Play Prodlxtion)

Volume 380: debated on Wednesday 17 June 1942

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12 and 13.

asked the Minister of Aircraft Production (1) whether he is aware that the nine executive officers in a certain aircraft factory, who spent two hours of working time in discussing the production of a play, held other meetings, with the same object on 28th and 30th March, and 2nd and 16th April; how long each of these meetings lasted; whether any additional executive officers were present, including the managing director; and what steps be proposes to take to stop any neglect of necessary production at this place;

(2) whether he is aware that rehearsals of a play were held at an aircraft factory on 2nd, 4th and 5th April; how long those rehearsals lasted on each day; how many of the workers took part; whether any of the executive officers were present; and, if so, the length of time they were present on each day?

I am told that on 28th March the committee concerned met for one hour, on 16th April for 30 minutes, that some members of the committee discussed the matter for one hour on 30th March, and for a quarter of an hour on 2nd April. The managing director and two other officers attended on one or two occasions for a short time. Rehearsals took place on the days mentioned by my hon. Friend, but as only one employee took part, and as he is a member of the accounts department, I am not much concerned as to how long these rehearsals took. I, however, asked the managing director to come and discuss this matter with me. He has given me an assurance that at any similar meetings which there may be in the future, he will see that so large a number of executive officers do not attend.

What action does the Minster intend taking with regard to the time which has been lost by these executive officers while they were away from their duties of producing necessary aircraft to consider the production of a play? Only one employee was evidently engaged in the rehearsals. How many outsiders were permitted to enter this important factory, and were they given the necessary passes?

I should want notice of the second part of that question, but, in regard to the executive of the firm, as I told my hon. Friend on the last occasion, they are up to date with their work. What I am anxious to secure is the future rather than looking into the past.

Is it not the case that, although they may be up to date, the executive officers might have increased production if they had paid attention to their duties instead of to the production of a play? Will the Minister consider my other point with regard to bringing people into the factory who were not employees merely for rehearsing a play? On a point of Order. Is it not an important matter, Mr. Speaker, that outsiders should be brought into a very important factory engaged on aircraft production during working hours to rehearse a play? Could not these rehearsals have been conducted outside?

The hon. Member has already asked two supplementary questions, and I am afraid we cannot take up too much time on one Question.

There is too much time being taken up in this factory on outside matters.