asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current value of repayment work at present being undertaken in Royal Naval dockyards.
The value of contracts for repayment work currently in hand at the Royal dockyards is approximately £1½ million pounds.
Will my hon. Friend be a little more forthcoming and tell me the nature of the work and whether any cuts are likely to be to the long-term detriment of ports such as Hull?
A variety of work is being undertaken, including fairly substantial subcontracts for United Kingdom shipbuilders. I assure my hon. Friend that there is no intention of undermining work opportunities in ports such as Hull.
Is it good enough for the Minister to say that there is no intention of doing so? What machinery is he setting up to ensure that no work taken by a Royal Naval dockyard is taken at the expense of workers elsewhere in civilian yards?
The answer to that is clear. The Royal Naval dockyards take on what is called repayment work only when civilian firms are not available to carry out such work.