HC Deb 10 June 1959 vol 606 cc100-1W
75. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, if he is aware of mounting anxiety following the decision to speed up the closure of the Royal Naval Aircraft Yard at Donibristle; and whether he will give an assurance that no redundancy will occur as a result of this decision.

Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith

No firm date has previously been given for the closing of this Yard. It was stated in my noble Friend's Explanatory Statement on the Navy Estimates 1959–60 (Cmnd. 674) that repair work on aircraft would be completed by April, 1959, and that the Yard's equipment and stores would then be disposed of and the Yard would finally close towards the end of 1959. Repair work was completed by the estimated date of April. It is now found that the work of dismantling and preparing the Yard for disposal will be completed by the end of August, although the Naval Store Department and some ancillary services will not finally close until about October.

There has been the closest contact throughout with the staff sides, who have been kept fully informed of developments, and I do not think that it is correct to say that there is mounting anxiety at Donibristle about redundancy. It has always been understood by both sides that some redundancy will be inevitable on the closure of an establishment of this size. The reduction to be achieved between February, 1958, and the end of August, 1959, is about 1,300; the total number of redundancies which will have to be declared over the whole period are at present estimated as being about 60 men and 40 women.