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Royal Naval Dockyards

Volume 972: debated on Thursday 25 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he is now able to make a statement about the purpose, methods and composition of the review body which is to investigate the future role of the Royal naval dockyards.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has set in hand a study of the role, organisation and structure of the Royal dockyards in the United Kingdom and how they might best be organised to meet the requirements of the Royal Navy in the next two decades, taking account of recent manpower and productivity trends and those forecast for the future.The study will be carried out under the direction of a steering group chaired by me and comprising the Vice-Chief of the Naval Staff, the Deputy Under-Secretary of State (Navy), the Chief Executive of the Royal dockyards, Professor B. P. Smith—formerly chairman of the board of PA Management Consultants Ltd.—and a representative of the Department of Industry. The final report on the study is to be submitted to the Secretary of State for Defence by 1 April 1980.As the above makes clear, the study is to be a wide-ranging one with the long-term needs of the Royal Navy in mind. The views of those who might contribute to our work, both within and outside the Ministry of Defence and including the trade unions and staff associations, are being sought and will be very welcome to the group.