FROM OUR SOUTH WALES CORRESPONDENT
CARDIFF. Nov. 23
Optimistically-since 1,000 of their car assembly workers in the Midlands are on a four-day week-officials of the Rover Car Company today saw the foundation stone laid of a £2,500,000 factory at Pengam Moor, Cardiff.
In 1963 about 2,000 people will be employed there, if all goes well. The spare parts side of the firm will be transferred to Pengam in entirety and there is likely to be a steady build up at Cardiff in the production of components for assembly in the Midlands. Much may depend on whether Britain enters the Common Market. Rovers think they have grounds for optimism. The vice-chairman, Mr L. T. G. Farmer, said at the luncheon after the ceremony:
“We achieved an all-time record output in the last financial year up to the end of July and we look forward to the future with every confidence.”
LAND OF OPPORTUNITY
The factory is more than welcome to Wales, which has long cried out for greater diversification of industry. It has arrived there in response to “the amiable arm twisting” of the Board of Trade, as Mr William Martin-Hurst, deputy managing director of Rovers, put it
“This left us no alternative but to expand our industries, in places which we certainly would not have chosen and which at the time not infrequently appeared unattractive to us “.
But he described the partnership between Rovers and the people of Wales as happy. The demand for labour by Rovers could also lead to some embarrassment. Most workers will be recruited locally. The mines are feeling the pinch as young men are lured away by better working conditions in new industries from jobs done by their fathers. The theory is that there will not be enough skilled and semi-skilled workers to go round. And any shortage would be accentuated by a scarcity of houses for people who want to come to Wales from outside.