HC Deb 24 March 1958 vol 585 cc23-4
38. Mr. Mason

asked the Minister of Supply what progress is being made in disposing of Royal Ordnance factories to prospective buyers, and particularly to those who envisage using them for other forms of production.

Mr. W. J. Taylor

As previously announced, Dalmuir is being let to Babcock and Wilcox, Limited, from 1st January, 1959. Poole and Maltby have been advertised for disposal and the resulting inquiries are now being dealt with, Wigan will be advertised shortly. The factories at Swynnerton, Thorp Arch and Irvine present difficult problems because of their size and nature. My right hon. Friend is not in a position to make any detailed statement about them. It is his objective, wherever practicable, to dispose of the factories in such a way as to ensure continuity of employment.

Mr. Mason

Would the hon. Gentleman say to what extent there is liaison between his Department and the Atomic Energy Authority, particularly in regard to converting much of this factory space for the production of components for peaceful and industrial uses of atomic energy?

Mr. Taylor

We shall be glad at any time to take on additional work for the Atomic Energy Authority which is within our technical competence and to adjust our capacity accordingly. As the Authority is not, however, a tenant of ours, the question of allowing it room for expansion does not arise under this Question.