HC Deb 30 November 1972 vol 847 cc612-3
20. Mr. Millan

asked the Minister of State for Defence what steps he has taken to re-locate headquarters work of his Department in the development areas.

Mr. Ian Gilmour

Since December, 1970 about 150 posts, which at the time were classified as headquarters work, have been re-located in Carlisle and Liverpool.

Mr. Millan

I suggest that 150 out of more than 20,000 headquarters staff is not a very good record. In that context may I ask the hon. Gentleman to bear in mind that Scotland is interested not only in having facilities like firing ranges, which no other part of the country wants but, arising from the Hardman Report, in seeing a considerable relocation of headquarters staff in Scotland?

Mr. Gilmour

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's point, but he will understand that there are great difficulties about dispersing headquarters staff too widely. As I told him a fortnight ago, I cannot anticipate the findings of the Hardman Committee.

Mr. Robert Hughes

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that whilst we welcome the relocation of jobs in Scotland we do not welcome places like nuclear submarine bases? Will he do something to get rid of them?

Mr. Gilmour

I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman does not welcome them but his feeling is not widely shared.