HC Deb 03 November 1958 vol 594 cc601-2
40. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Supply what proposals are being considered in the discussions about the disposal of the Royal Ordnance factory and site at Swynnerton; and when it is expected that these discussions will reach a constructive conclusion.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

The proposals being considered are that some of the land should be returned to agriculture but that the bulk of the site should be put to industrial use. I cannot forecast when a conclusion will be reached.

Mr. Swingler

Is it quite clear that, having cancelled the employment of a large number of workers, the Minister now takes responsibility for providing alternative employment? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, while these discussions have been going on, the unemployment level in the adjacent area of Newcastle-under-Lyme has risen to over 3½per cent. and that it is urgently necessary to provide more work in this area?

Mr. Jones

I am informed that most of the displaced workers have been absorbed into other kinds of employment. The question of putting this site to a large-scale industrial use is one for the local authorities concerned and not for me.