HC Deb 23 March 1949 vol 463 cc359-60
31. Colonel Gomme-Duncan

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the retention of Rosyth Dockyard on a full-time basis.

Mr. W. Edwards

I can only refer the hon. and gallant Member to the statement I made when this matter was raised on the Motion for the Adjournment on 27th October, 1947.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

How long is this nonsense going on? Could not the hon. Gentleman agree that after nearly four years of peace they should be able to say whether they want Rosyth base or not? Who is holding it up?

Mr. Edwards

I cannot agree that there is any nonsense at all. Contrary to what the then Government did after World War I, we have not closed it down. But what we have said is that Rosyth Dockyard, as all the other home dockyards, will be kept open until such time may arise when it is necessary to close one and then they will be taken into consideration together.

Mr. Piratin

Could the hon. Gentleman ask the Foreign Secretary to get permission from the American Government when he is there this week-end?

Mr. Speaker

That is out of Order.

Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison

Will the hon. Gentleman agree that times have changed very much since we had an Adjournment Debate on this matter and, in view of the importance of Rosyth in two world wars, that it should be prevented from going to rack and ruin?

Mr. Edwards

It is of great importance to all five dockyards to keep in commission. We are not saying we will not keep Rosyth in full commission but we can made a promise that it will be considered along with other dockyards, if necessary.

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