HC Deb 08 May 1968 vol 764 cc419-20
18. Mr. Judd

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will now initiate a survey into the possible extension of civil dock facilities in Portsmouth with special reference to under-utilised naval facilities.

Mr. Swingler

It is in the first place for the harbour authority and potential users to consider what is required, and we know of no demand for further commercial port facilities at Portsmouth in addition to the recently opened quay.

Mr. Judd

Does my hon. Friend agree that there are considerable capital resources and wharfage in the naval dockyard which are at present grossly underused? The small civil port already in operation is proving highly successful, and there is every reason to believe that we could have a thriving port in Portsmouth, particularly as we extend our economic relations with Europe.

Mr. Swingler

My hon. Friend may be right, but we have no evidence of the need for further civil port development at Portsmouth. If evidence is put before us by the Harbour Authority we shall be delighted to go into the matter with the Secretary of State for Defence. However, we must have evidence of the need.