Examination of Witnesses (Questions 80
MONDAY 20 MAY 2002
80. On that positive note, can I ask you all
what is your assessment for the future, not necessarily constrained
by this ten year framework? Glasgow City Council said in their
submission to us that beyond 2015 the future of UK defence spending
is uncertainand that is substantially the market we are
currently inand that beyond that the level of warship build
will reduce. Bearing that in mind, what is your crystal ball for
(Mr Carrigan) I think it is fair to say that it is
in the Task Force Report and we agree very much with the Task
Force Report and we agree with Glasgow Council's synopsis. We
cannot see beyond 2015, we do not have a crystal ball in that
sense. We hope the work that is going on up to that time will
make us more competitive, make us more productive. We hope to
see the joined«up writing with Government. We can never tell
what is going to happen in the political context on a global basis,
but we certainly hope we are going to be more competitive. We
certainly hope when we meet the company on 31 May we will draw
a line under the current round of redundancies and that will help
morale, we will see more retraining, and we will be a happier
place and that will act as a harbinger for improved productivity
and so forth. We are not totally pessimistic. I hope that does
not sound like complacency but at the end of the day over the
past 30 years we have seen peaks and troughs and, if you have
a 10 to 15 year programme, that looks attractive and good and
it gives us that cushion, we believe, and that cushion has to
be used for improvement, has to be used for doing things which
will make us better, smarter and hopefully convince the company
they should be in commercial work as well as military work.
Chairman: We have come to the last question
of the day and I will give it to Mr Robertson, who was responsible
for bringing us all here because he went to great lengths to convince
the Committee this was an appropriate inquiry to do.
81. Thank you, Chairman. I think by the Committee's
evidence-gathering I have proved my subject was a correct one.
Can I thank you all for coming, and obviously the people who were
here earlier, thank them for coming too to which is of course
the best constituency in Scotland and the United Kingdom, and
I hope that gets my majority up a little bit! I have had one great
fear during all the evidence I have heard and having talked to
the company, and that is that the company never gives the full
story. Could I ask you, do you have that fear as well?
(Mr Webster) Do they ever? I would settle for 95 per
cent, and we would be quite lucky with that.
(Mr Dolan) No, they do not ever tell us the truth.
(Mr Moohan) I think until we turn the corner and we
stabilise the workforce and grow from that position, the doubts
will still be there.
(Mr Carrigan) I do not think they tell the full story
but then we would not expect them to tell us the full story all
(Mr Dolan) Just some of the time would help!
(Mr Scullion) It is up to us to try and get as much
of the truth as we possibly can, and we will try and do that on
(Mr Torrence) Nothing to add.
Chairman: Gentlemen, thank you most sincerely
for coming, the evidence you have given us will be very helpful
to us in this inquiry, and as we continue the inquiry it will
be helpful in that respect as well. Once more, thank you sincerely
for coming and we will give you a copy of the report as soon as
we have it. Thank you very much indeed.