HC Deb 17 June 1880 vol 253 c187

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the number of workmen at Woolwich Arsenal is being largely reduced; and whether such reductions are likely to continue; and, whether it is intended to remove the Army Clothing Factory from Pimlico; and, if so, whether it would not be desirable to utilise the buildings of Woolwich Dockyard, which have remained empty for many years, by transferring the Clothing Factory to Woolwich, and thereby giving employment to hundreds of artisans who lost their occupation through the closing of the Dockyard?


The Estimates for the Laboratory for 1880–81 provide for about 2,925 workmen during the year. On the 31st of January there were 3,401. The numbers to be reduced in that establishment, therefore, were 476. This reduction was effected gradually under an Order by my Predecessor in January last, and has now been carried out. The Estimates for the Gun Factory for this year provide for about 602 men, as against 950 men last year, and a gradual reduction is being made. This, however, does not describe the whole case, as the amount of work in the Gun Factory depends also on orders from other Departments, the sums received for which go in aid of the Vote. The number of men, therefore, must vary monthly; but, except in consequence of these orders failing us, no very great further reductions will be necessary. There is no intention of removing the Clothing Factory from Pimlico. It has been established at a cost of about £80,000 in buildings and machinery, and is in a very efficient condition.