HC Deb 03 April 1963 vol 675 c433
17. Commander Courtney

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty when he anticipates that Messrs. Vickers will commence three-shift working on Her Majesty's Submarine "Valiant".

The Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing)

The building of "Valiant" is at present up to schedule. Messrs. Vickers inform me that six trade groups operated a three-shift system during the construction of "Dreadnought" and they anticipate that these six groups and others will operate shift working at the appropriate time on the building programme for "Valiant" and other nuclear submarines.

Commander Courtney

While congratulating my hon. Friend on that really excellent news, may I ask whether he can confirm, first, that three-shift working will be extended to the second Polaris yard and, secondly, that three-shift working will enable him to cut about one year off the building time for Polaris submarines as compared with the Americans?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

When we inquired of the shipbuilders we asked them about their capability for round the clock working and pointed out that it would be required and that the willingness of the firms and unions to accept this would be considered before placing the order. I cannot give an undertaking on the second point raised by my hon. and gallant Friend, but I can say that we will certainly build these as quickly as we possibly can, with the co-operation of the trade unions.