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Royal Dockyards

Volume 411: debated on Wednesday 13 June 1945

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33.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will indicate the general policy with regard to employment and work at the Royal Dockyards during the remainder of the war.

So far as can be foreseen all the Royal Dockyards will be fully employed in making alterations and additions to His Majesty's Ships for the prosecution of the war against Japan and in carrying out repairs.

In view of the great increase in the size of the Royal Navy and in its fighting power, will my right hon. Friend give an undertaking that there will be no large scale reduction of employment in the Royal Dockyards after the Japanese war?

That is a question of Government policy. Perhaps when the Election is over my hon. Friend will put a Question down.

34.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, now that this country is no longer subject to enemy attack, he will at an early date give publicity to the achievements of the Royal Dockyards at Chatham and elsewhere during the war against Germany, indicating the number of men employed, what has been produced and repaired there, and what they have suffered from air raids.

Will ray right hon. Friend in due course give full recognition to the magnificent contribution made by the Chatham Dockyards workers to the war effort?

Yes, Sir. In due course proper recognition will be paid to the part played by the Chatham Dockyards.

Can we be assured that the right hon. Gentleman does not detect in any of these Questions any propaganda?

35.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will set up a committee at an early date to consider the most efficient way of operating the Royal Dockyards after the war and providing adequate inducements to highly qualified engineers and other technicians to remain in these Royal Dockyards rather than go to private firms; and whether, in this connection, he will consult the Admiralty Industrial Civil Servants' Federation and other appropriate bodies, representing employees in these establishments.

The efficiency of the dock, yard management, and the appropriateness of the rates of pay and conditions of service authorised for dockyard employees, are matters which the Admiralty constantly watch. As my hon. and gallant Friend is aware, machinery exists for regular consultation between representatives of the employees and Departmental officials both at the dockyards and at headquarters. This is intended to secure the greatest measure of co-operation in the pursuit of efficiency and of the well-being of the employees. I see no early need to set up a special committee to supplement these arrangements.

Could the First Lord suggest some better method than appointing this committee to see that these highly qualified engineers and technicians will receive wages in keeping with those prevailing in private yards?

I am very pleased to see this excellent Tory doctrine so fully explained in a supplementary question, but I have no intention of appointing another committee to deal with work which is being thoroughly well done at the present time.