asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he can yet estimate what effect the recent defence review will have on the naval construction work undertaken at Vosper-Thorneycroft yards in Southampton.
Consultations about the defence review are taking place with the warship-building firms, including Vosper-Thorneycroft, but it is still too early to say what the effect of the proposed reduction in planned new ship construction would be for individual shipbuilders. I assure my hon. Friend that in arriving at final decisions the Government will take full account of industrial and employment considerations.
I thank my hon. Friend for that encouraging reply. If he took the advice of some of his hon. Friends and made a drastic cut of £1,000 million a year in defence expenditure, as has been suggested, what would be the effect on naval construction?