asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, in view of the fact that the shore establishment, H.M.S. "Ceres", at present at Wetherby, Yorkshire, is shortly to move to Chatham and in two years' time be transferred to Portsmouth, why this establishment cannot remain at Wetherby until it moves to Portsmouth, thus reducing the cost of a double move.
The Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith)
The decision to move H.M.S. "Ceres" to Chatham was taken before it was decided to close, in 1961, the various naval establishments at Chatham and the work required to accommodate H.M.S. "Ceres" at Chatham is now almost complete.The possibility of deferring the move of H.M.S. "Ceres" was very carefully considered; but it would cost more to keep the establishment at Wetherby open until it could move to Portsmouth. A decision now to move the establishment to Portsmouth would not, therefore, reduce the cost, but delay the closing of the establishment at Wetherby and the resulting saving on overheads.
Can my hon. Friend assure me that, bearing in mind what happened the last time hostilities broke out, H.M.S. "Ceres" will not be immediately decamped back to Wetherby as soon as hostilities do break out?
I cannot give my hon. Friend any undertaking of that kind.