HC Deb 02 April 1968 vol 762 cc170-1
Q1. Mr. Judd

asked the Prime Minister whether he will co-ordinate the work of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Labour, the Board of Trade, the Department of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Technology and consult with local authorities in order to examine the demands on naval dockyard communities and ways in which capital, land and human resources can best be utilised for the national economy and full employment.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Navy said on 20th March, there will be full consultations with local authorities and other Government Departments when the current study of the naval dockyards has reached the appropriate stage. I have nothing to add to that assurance today.

Mr. Judd

Would my right hon. Friend not agree that the Government have very special responsibilities for dockyards, first because the capital resources there represent potential growth points in the economy at a critical time, and secondly because, as a direct employer of thousands of workers we must see to it that they are not presented with a fait accompli but can be reassured about the future?

The Prime Minister

I accept that, for the reasons given, the Government have a very special responsibility in such areas. There will be full consultation when the current study is complete.