§ 19. Mr. Boardman
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will state the number of employees who will be affected by the closure of the Admiralty depot at Risley.
§ Mr. Galbraith
There are at present some 2,700 Admiralty employees at Risley. The tasks of this depot are due to be reduced gradually over the next eight years or so. Over this long period, normal wastage will make a large contribution to the necessary reduction in numbers, so that it is not possible at this stage to say how many of the staff will be individually affected.
§ Mr. Boardman
Will the Parliamentary Secretary consult the President of the Board of Trade with a view to bringing other industry into this area so as to offset the serious industrial loss which otherwise will occur?
On a point of order. I should like your guidance, Mr. Speaker. This depot happens to be in my constituency, and at the beginning of this year I wrote to the then First Lord asking for information on this issue. On 11th January he wrote back to say that he would give an answer to my letter when he had assembled the information that he thought would be useful. What protection has an hon. Member when an answer is given in the House by another Minister and when a former Minister has promised another lion. Member an answer at the earliest possible time, and when that reply has not yet come?
§ Mr. Boardman
Further to that point of order, I fancy that my hon. Friend is raising this matter in no way critical of me. It so happens that I supply the labour and he draws the rates.
§ Mr. Speaker
I cannot help the hon. Member. Sometimes Ministers do not act quite up to the expectations of hon. Members. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] I have seen that happen many a time in the past twenty-five years. I can only advise the hon. Member to keep on trying.