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Dockyard Workers (Retiring Age)

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1951

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what action he is taking regarding the retiring age for workers in His Majesty's dockyards, in view of the fact that Portsmouth has over 3,500 unemployed.

By agreement with the trade union side of the Admiralty Industrial Council it has been the case for some time past that men may be retained in Admiralty industrial employment beyond the age of 65 if willing and if their services are required, but when a man approaching 65 wishes to continue at work the claims of suitable unemployed ex-dockyard employees are also considered.

Does not the Civil Lord appreciate that this will increase the unemployment at Portsmouth, which is already standing at 3,500, and will do nothing at all to ease the unemployment situation?

I cannot see that this will increase the number of unemployed there at all.

Is it not the case that if elderly people are retained in employment it causes a block at the top, stops promotion and results in unemployment for younger people?

There are plenty of people whom the Government desire should continue in work, and there are many who wish to do this. I would draw the hon. and gallant Member's attention to the fact that the figure which he quoted of the unemployed in Portsmouth has been gradually decreasing for the past few months.