HC Deb 11 December 1957 vol 579 cc1234-5
6. Miss Vickers

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will grant permission for the use of a quayside berth at Devonport Dockyard for the Italian steamer "Irpinia", 12,299 tons gross register, for the winter months of 1958–59; and whether he will allow any necessary repairs to be carried out in the dockyard.

Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith

The alongside berths at Devonport are generally in use for H.M. ships refitting, and no guarantee can be given that a suitable berth would be available at the times required. I urn afraid, therefore, that permission cannot be granted.

Miss Vickers

In view of this refusal and the fact that permission has been granted previously to a Dutch ship, can my hon. Friend give an assurance that during the coming year there will be full work for the 20,000 employees now employed there and that this refusal will not render any of them redundant?

Mr. Galbraith

Devonport Dockyard has a full programme of naval work for the ensuing year.

Mr. Bottomley

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that, with the yards full of repair work and the urge that private work should also be carried out, there is no need to worry about the future of the dockyards?