HC Deb 26 April 1972 vol 835 cc1514-5
2. Mr. David Stoddart

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will pay an early visit to Swindon.

The Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Peter Walker)

I visited there last month.

Mr. William Hamilton

Nobody noticed.

Mr. Stoddart

I am sorry that the right hon. Gentleman did not inform me that he was there last month. Nevertheless, he obviously omitted to do a very important job while there by paying a visit to the British Railways workshops and speaking to the employees about the chaos caused by the shifts and twists of the Railways Board's policy. Is he aware that, particularly amongst the 1,300 men who are expected to be made redundant, there is a great deal of frustration and fear? Will he now pay a visit to Swindon again with the express purpose of speaking to people working at the workshops?

Mr. Walker

My right hon. Friend the Minister for Transport Industries has of course visited Swindon during the past months. The proposals of the British Railways Board for a reduction of the labour force at the workshops is a matter for the board to decide as future rolling stock requirements are calculated by the board itself. But I am aware of the problems.