HC Deb 06 February 1963 vol 671 cc435-6
22. Miss Vickers

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he will consider drawing up a 10-year programme of work for the Royal Naval Dockyards in view of the new defence policy.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

It is already our practice to prepare a long-term assessment of future work in the Royal Dockyards; this takes account of Fleet plans as known at the time and is reviewed annually.

Miss Vickers

Will my hon. Friend consider having a 10-year programme in future, so that we can have really balanced working in naval dockyards, and may I ask him to ensure that in his efforts to keep employment in other dockyards in the country and to increase employment there he will not create unemployment in the naval dockyard at Devonport?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

The decision to make a long-term forecast of the dockyard load was taken last year and we are doing it in more detailed form than ever before. I agree that it is very important indeed. On the second issue, we are well aware of the problems of the dockyards and we are watching the load most carefully.

Captain W. Elliot

What sort of work has gone into modernisation of naval dockyards in recent years and what sort of sum has been spent?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

On home dockyards alone in the last 10 years we have invested more than£34 million in new buildings, new machinery and new techniques. This is an earnest of our confidence in the future of the Royal Naval Dockyard.

Mr. Snow

In view of the Polaris decision, what additional staff and what changes of personnel have been decided for our naval dockyards?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

Again, that is another aspect which we are examining. It will take a long time before it is resolved.