HC Deb 03 April 1963 vol 675 cc436-7
22. Mr. Willis

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty how many additional men will be required at Rosyth by the end of 1963 for the work which will be necessary to prepare this dockyard for the refitting and refuelling of nuclear submarines.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

As I said in my written reply of 15th March to the hon. Member for Dunfermline Burghs (Dr. A. Thompson), it is too early to be precise about the timing of manpower increases at Rosyth. We shall, however, start to increase the dockyard labour force as soon as we can recruit suitable craftsmen, and a small number of staff, when they have received training in nuclear work, will be appointed to Rosyth dockyard to plan the facilities required.

Mr. Willis

Are we to understand from what the Civil Lord previously said about this refitting depot that it would be necessary whether we proceeded with the Polaris or no?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Stodart

Can my hon. Friend say whether he has been taking in a sufficient number of apprentices locally in recent years to enable the Royal Navy to build up a local labour force?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

Yes, Sir. In the last five years we have increased our apprentice intake from 71 to 98, to 145, to 167 and, this year, to 190. I am sure that this will pay a worth-while dividend, not only in the training of young men but in the dockyard as well.