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Aircraft Factory, Hillington

Volume 415: debated on Monday 29 October 1945

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asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production the cost of the foundry at the Hillington aircraft factory; the price at which the foundry was sold; and when the sale of the foundry took place


:I regret it has not been possible to obtain the necessary particulars in the short interval since the Question appeared on the Order Paper on Saturday morning. With the hon. Member's permission I will communicate with him as soon as the information is available.

May not the rest of the House have these very important details?

asked the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production (1) whether in view of the feeling in Scotland about the Hillington aircraft factory, he will, in consultation with the Secretary of State for Scotland, take steps to retain this factory as a Government factory for the production of accessories for housing and other light engineering products necessary for a plan of social reconstruction (2) what steps he proposes to take to utilise the aircraft factory at Hillington to provide employment for the 20,000 people who have been made redundant in recent months.;

:I have been asked to reply and, although portions of this factory will soon be available for re-allocation to other uses, it is not yet possible to say exactly how much of it will be retained for the present uses or when the remainder will be freed. It has been decided to turn this factory into the trading estate and not to retain it for Government use. My Department are in touch with a number of firms who have applied for production space, and allocations will be made as soon as possible.

:Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware of the very strong feeling in Scotland about the way this factory is being disposed of, and will he reconsider the whole question with a view to having a Government factory there to meet the needs of housing equipment, and other light engineering products?

:It is because of the needs of a variety of industries that it has been decided that it is better that it should be allocated to the number of applicants who have already come forward.

:Can the Minister give us any assurance, which we may pass on to the constituents who are worrying us, that when this reorganisation or reconstruction takes place, the applicants are likely to require approximately an equivalent number of employees to those now being discharged?

:It is not possible at present, until we are more certain which of the applicants will be accepted, to say precisely how many people will be employed.

:Does the Minister mean that the motor engines produced at this factory during the war will not now be required?

During the war aircraft engines were produced there, and they will not be required in anything like the quantities sufficient to occupy that space.