HC Deb 20 April 1959 vol 604 cc21-2
33. Mr. Mayhew

asked the Minister of Supply for what reasons he proposes to amalgamate machine shop 58 and the light gun factory in the Royal Ordnance Factory, Woolwich.

Mr. W. J. Taylor

This amalgamation is part of the scheme of reorganisation foreshadowed in the announcement made by my right hon. Friend in April, 1958, to transform the Royal Ordnance Factory, Woolwich into a smaller and more economical unit. Both these shops, for which there is no longer enough of their traditional work, will continue to be utilised, although Shop C.58 will now be employed on work of a different kind.

Mr. Mayhew

Is the Minister aware that C.58 is generally regarded as the best-equipped and most efficient shop in the Arsenal and that both shops are now working overtime, and that this amalgamation conflicts with the original idea of geographical centralisation in the Arsenal? Will he look at this matter again to ensure that he is not making a mistake?

Mr. Taylor

I assure the hon. Gentleman that I have looked into this matter in great detail. Indeed, I have been to Woolwich to inspect the shops in question, and consultations have taken place, both at factory level and within my Department. I assure him that this is a question of good industrial management and organisation. It is not quite true to assert that Shop C.58 can go on in the future exactly as it has done in the past. We must keep pace with the reorganisation, phased as it is, and I assure the hon. Gentleman that only good can come out of this reorganisation.