HC Deb 06 April 1976 vol 909 cc123-5W
21. Mr. Albert Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many civilians are currently employed in Royal ordnance factories; and what proportion of their output is represented by sales to overseas customers.

1st January I960 1st January 1976
Non-Industrials Industrials Non-Industrials Industrials
(i) AEL, West Drayton 181 143 127 149
(ii) AOL, Cobham 34† 36† 35 35½
(iii) AML, Holton Heath 140 122 153 144
(iv) Queen's Road Site, ARL, Teddington Not available 174½ 104
(v) ERDE (North Site), Waltham Abbey 263* 260* 243 170
(vi) Woolwich Arsenal (East Site) 192 317 83½ 202
(vii) Potton Island, Trials ground of RARDE 32 68 32 73½
* Figures at 1st January 1962—earlier figures not available
† In 1960 the Admiralty Oil Laboratory was at Brentford

Mr. Canavan

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement about his meeting with trade union representatives at Bandeath on 24th March.

Mr. William Rodgers

Some 21,800 civilians are currently employed in the Royal ordnance factories. Export sales vary significantly, but at present, approaching half of the output of the organisation is for overseas customers.

29. Mr. Atkinson

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is his estimate of the labour content of all defence contracts placed within the United Kingdom; and what proportion is taken by private manufacturers.

Mr. William Rodgers

I regret that the information needed to answer the first part of my hon. Friend's Question is not available. The proportion of defence equipment contracts placed with private manufacturers is over 90 per cent, by value.

Mr. Pattie

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will give the numbers employed at the following establishments on (a) 1st January 1960 and (b) 1st January 1976: (i) Admiralty Engineering Laboratory, West Drayton, (ii) Admiralty Oil Laboratory, Cobham, (iii) Admiralty Materials Laboratory, Holton Heath, (iv) Queen's Road site of Admiralty Research Laboratory, Teddington, (v) Explosives Research and Development Establishment (North Site), Waltham Abbey, (vi) Woolwich Arsenal, East Site and (vii) Potton Island trials ground of RARDE.

Mr. William Rodgers

The numbers employed are given in the following tables; part-time staff have been counted as one half:

Mr. Judd

During my visit to the RN Armament Depot at Bandeath on 24th March I met trade union representatives and members of the work force. I explained to them that it is unfortunately impossible to achieve savings in defence expenditure without pain, and 1 discussed with them why it had been decided, as a result of the public expenditure review, to close the depot at Bandeath, and a number of other support establishments. Our policy had been to seek economies in the "tail" of the Services that would not directly affect the "teeth". I explained that the continued retention of the depot at Bandeath would have had several disadvantages, and its closure will produce considerable savings. However, we realised the potential implications of the closure, and 1 assured the work force that every effort would be made to ease the impact and offer alternative employment. For this purpose I urged industrial and non-industrial staff to make the most vigorous use possible of the established Whitley consultative machinery.

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