HC Deb 08 July 1959 vol 608 cc1332-3
6. Dr. Dickson Mabon

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty when the present premises of the Torpedo Experimental Establishment, Greenock, were first publicly advertised for sale; and if the offer included the present administrative block.

Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith

This Establishment was first publicly advertised for sale in May, 1958. The administrative block was included in the offer.

Dr. Mabon

Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House why there was no formal withdrawal of the offer of the block for sale and why the Renfrewshire Education Committee has been sent on a wild goose chase to try to get it for a technical college? In view of the letter which, by a coincidence, I received today, does not the hon. Gentleman think that he owes some apology for this long delay in putting us six months behind in providing a technical college for the area?

Mr. Galbraith

I am very sorry if in endeavouring to help the hon. Gentleman's constituents the Admiralty has caused them and the education authority any inconvenience. The reason why we did not withdraw the building in the first instance was that we were trying to help the local authority and ascertain whether it would not be possible for the Admiralty to centralise all its functions somewhere else. Unfortunately, owing to the increase in the N.A.T.O. commitment, that has been found to be impossible.