HC Deb 26 March 1969 vol 780 cc1612-3
28. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the total labour force at Rosyth are engaged on the servicing of nuclear submarines; and to what extent this number is expected to increase in the next three years.

Dr. David Owen

At Rosyth the average number of workmen directly engaged in servicing nuclear submarines is about 500 at the present time. It is expected that this will increase to over 800 during the next three years. Other staff who provide services in support of those directly engaged also contribute to this task.

Mr. Hamilton

Can my hon. Friend say whether it is reasonable to assume that if the nuclear establishment in Scotland were withdrawn, this would result in the diminution, if not the elimination, of this labour force from Rosyth and other parts of Scotland? Can he give me any figures which would show how many employees in Rosyth are indirectly employed on the nuclear submarines?

Dr. Owen

The important thing to recognise is that the Rosyth task is very much dependent on refitting the four Polaris submarines. The submarine base at Faslane used by Polaris submarines is a considerable employer of labour in Scotland, and it is largely welcome for that reason.

Mr. W. H. K. Baker

Would the hon. Gentleman agree that if, for any reason, the force was withdrawn, it would cause a great deal of concern locally? Is it not another further indictment of the S.N.P. policy?

Dr. Owen

There is no question of it being withdrawn. It gives very valuable help to the economy of Scotland.