HC Deb 11 March 1971 vol 813 c574
33. Mr. McMaster

asked the Minister of State for Defence if he will take steps to maintain present employment levels in defence repair and maintenance establishments situated in Northern Ireland.

Lord Balniel

There is unlikely to be any immediate significant change in employment levels in these establishments. However, as a result of the reduction of fixed wing flying in the Royal Navy the present task of the R.N.A.Y. Sydenham will start to run down about April, 1973. The possibility of a further task after that date is under consideration.

Mr. McMaster

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware of the great concern, in view of the heavy unemployment in Northern Ireland, felt by the employees at the Royal Naval yard? Will he make every effort to find alternative work for this leading naval repair yard?

Lord Balniel

I am aware of the heavy unemployment in the area, and this is one of the considerations which we will bear very carefully in mind. Indeed, my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Navy saw a deputation from the area only very recently.