HC Deb 06 April 1976 vol 909 cc222-3
27. Mr. Stephen Ross

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts have been awarded in the past 12 months by his Department to Vosper Thornycroft; and what assurances he can give as to the future employment of this company on Royal Naval and ancillary work.

Mr. William Rodgers

In the last year Vosper Thornycroft has been awarded contracts for the construction of the first of the new mine counter measures vessels and a Type 42 destroyer. It has also received contracts for civil engineering works associated with the MCMV programme. We expect the firm to continue to play a vital part in the Royal Navy's construction programme as one of the specialist warship-builders.

Mr. Ross

I welcome that news. Will the Minister reconfirm that it is the Government's intention to maintain a warship-building concern on the South Coast? There is great worry among workers at Vosper Thornycroft that there may not be enough business for them in the foreseeable future.

Mr. Rodgers

There is no intention of changing the Government's present policy on warship-building.