asked the Minister of Supply what level of employment he intends to maintain in the Royal Ordnance Factory, Woolwich, in each of the years 1954 to 1958, inclusive, and in subsequent years.
I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave him on 27th February.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that while some of his proposals for the use of the Arsenal site are acceptable, there is widespread anxiety about the future level of employment in the R.O.F.? Can he give an assurance that he is no longer contemplating a level of 3,500?
I can give the assurance that I am not contemplating any particular level or ceiling. As I explained in my lengthy reply to the hon. Member last Friday, it is quite impossible for me to give any definite assurances about the future level of employment at the Arsenal. As was indicated in reply to the last Question about Cardiff, it must be dependent to a very large extent on the availability of suitable orders.
Can the right hon. Gentleman at least give the assurance that the three new buildings, about which there has been a great deal of controversy, will be retained inside the R.O.F.?
I think that question goes a very long way from the level of employment about which I was asked in the Question, but I can say that the question of these three buildings is to be discussed by the joint consultative committee of officials and trade union representatives set up at my invitation in order to ensure continuous consultation on various problems likely to arise from time to time through the implementation of this plan.
In order to try to elicit rather more definite replies on this important matter, I beg to give notice that I shall raise it on the Adjournment.