asked the Minister of Aviation what progress has been made in the negotiations between his Depart- ment and Beagle Aircraft Ltd. concerning the Chirstchurch factory and airfield; and, in view of the fact that the de Havilland Aircraft Company will now be vacating the factory in July, 1962, three months before it is due to be taken over by Beagle Aircraft Ltd., what steps are being taken to ensure continuity of employment for all those at present working there.
de Havilland's present intention is to terminate their tenancy at Christchurch on 30th September, 1962, but they may be able to leave a little earlier. Negotiations have started with Beagle on the terms of a lease to take effect as soon as de Havillands leave. Continuity of employment for de Havilland's employees is primarily a matter for arrangement between the two companies, but, as my right hon. Friend has said, we shall ensure that this point is taken fully into account in our negotiations with the Beagle group.