Dockyards (Civilian Production)

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th March 1948.

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Photo of Mr Hector Hughes Mr Hector Hughes , Aberdeen North 12:00 am, 17th March 1948

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will give a comprehensive and detailed list of articles for civilian use which are now being produced at Royal Dockyards in Great Britain; how and to what extent these articles are respectively being exported and made available for the general public; and in what proportions they are distributed in England and Wales on the one hand and Scotland on the other hand.

Photo of Mr Walter Edwards Mr Walter Edwards , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

I will, with my hon. and learned Friend's permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of typical items being manufactured in the Royal Dockyards for civilian use. These engineering products are usually components of capital goods. They are not sold to the public direct but made to the order of public bodies, or of industry for assembly into complete equipments, the ultimate use or distribution of which is not generally known to the Admiralty.

Photo of Mr Hector Hughes Mr Hector Hughes , Aberdeen North

Can my hon. Friend say something about the distribution of the goods as mentioned in the latter part of the Question; and can he say in particular what proportion of the goods came from Scotland?

Photo of Mr Walter Edwards Mr Walter Edwards , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

As I have explained, these goods are supplied to persons who apply to us for the purpose of manufacturing them. The civilian side is very small indeed, and I certainly could not say what is distributed as far as Scotland or England or Wales is concerned.

Photo of Major Donald Bruce Major Donald Bruce , Portsmouth North

Will my hon. Friend take steps to ensure that the capabilities of the Royal Dockyards in this respect are given wide publicity in those localities which may be interested?

Photo of Mr Walter Edwards Mr Walter Edwards , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

It is not a question of giving wide publicity. I want to point out that the primary function of the Royal Dockyards is to see that we have an efficient Fleet and, after that has been done, we are quite prepared to use any stocks we have in the national interest.

Photo of Sir Allan Noble Sir Allan Noble , Chelsea

Could the hon. Gentleman say what happens in the case of a contract like this if some urgent work is required to be done on the Fleet?

Photo of Mr Walter Edwards Mr Walter Edwards , Stepney Whitechapel and St George's

It has not affected us in that way yet.

Following is the list:

Brackets, guttering, water tanks, steel base stone moulds and other components for housing; chimney brackets and similar fittings for G.P.O.; repairs to railway wagons; fabricated steel structures for Ministry of Supply; coal loading hoppers, cast iron flywheels, mixing drums; cylinder blocks, pumps; relief valves; bed-plates for printing machines; copper and steel pipes; manufacture of triple roll paint mills, cranes; all types of castings including steel, miscellaneous items of machinery, fabrication, galvanising, patternmaking and forgings required for engineering, shipbuilding and general purposes.