HC Deb 02 March 1960 vol 618 cc1195-6
9. Mr. Gower

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will reconsider his decision to move the Boat Stores from Barry to the Portsmouth area; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Soames

No, Sir. The reasons for the move, which have been given in detail to my hon. Friend, derive from the need to concentrate in one place the units of the Water Transport Group, R.A.S.C.

Mr. Gower

Is not this decision somewhat at variance with the general trend of the Government's policy, which is to retain industry and employing agencies in areas where they are most needed? On that account will my right hon. Friend possibly give this some fresh attention?

Mr. Soames

No, I fear I cannot, inasmuch as we feel that it is necessary for efficiency to concentrate this group together, and the only place where the group can be concentrated is at Portsmouth. As for the question of employment, about 80 people will be redundant, but posts have been found elsewhere for the great majority of those not due to retire, and I believe that only a very few indeed—I hope, not more than 10—will in fact have to be discharged.

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