HC Deb 30 January 1957 vol 563 cc965-6
1. Mr. John MacLeod

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will make a statement on the future of Invergordon naval base.

The Civil Lord to the Admiralty (Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith)

The decision to reduce the naval base at Invergordon was taken with reluctance in the interests of economy. This is only one of a number of similar reductions which have been or are to be made throughout our organisation in an effort to streamline the shore support of the Navy. Apart from the Oil Fuelling Depot, which will be kept in active use, the facilities at Invergordon will either be disposed of or put into care and maintenance. I can assure my hon. Friend that we know how serious this decision is to the people of Invergordon, and I promise him that we will do all we can to help them.

Mr. MacLeod

I should like first of all to congratulate my hon. Friend on his appointment and wish him every success. Does he realise that the burgh of Invergordon feels that there is a moral obligation on the Admiralty to do all it can to lighten this blow to the area, to see that those who will become unemployed get employment in other work, to ensure that there will not be any stagnation of buildings but that they will be let for industrial development wherever possible, and also to see that the central pier will be handed back in the condition in which it was taken over, as it is now in very bad repair indeed?

Mr. Galbraith

We are well aware of the considerations which have prompted my hon. Friend to raise this matter. As I stated, we will do everything we possibly can to limit the effects of the with drawal of naval facilities from Invergordon.