§ 13. Mr. Cartwright
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to announce a final decision about the future location of the Directorate General of Defence Quality Assurance.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement (Mr. Kenneth Carlisle)
Our studies are well in hand. We are considering several options for the relocation of the Directorate General of Defence Quality Assurance and will come to a decision as soon as possible.
§ Mr. Cartwright
Does the Minister realise that uncertainty about defence quality assurance has continued for more than 15 years? As one final decision to build a new headquarters at Woolwich is said to have been overturned and a second final decision to move to Teesside now seems in doubt, can he assure us that this costly dithering will stop and that the next final decision will really be final?
§ Mr. Carlisle
As I said, we are looking at all the options and no decision has yet been taken. We hope shortly to come to a decision. I know that the hon. Gentleman is concerned about his constituency, but he should bear in mind that it will greatly benefit from any redevelopment of the royal arsenal west site.
§ Mr. Devlin
It is nothing short of disgraceful that the Government, who previously announced the movement of the quality assurance unit from Woolwich to Teesside in 1989, now seek to renege on that commitment to move those 1,500 jobs. When will the Minister bring this matter to a positive conclusion in favour of the previous announcement?
§ Mr. Carlisle
My hon. Friend has fought long and hard to win the relocation for Cleveland and I pay tribute to his efforts. He will understand that we have a public duty to look at all the options in order to achieve the best value for money. I repeat that we have not yet made any decision, but hope to make one shortly. We certainly recognise the merits of his Preston farm site.