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    The Government has decided to close the naval dockyard in Hong Kong. The run-down will?

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Government has decided to close the naval dockyard in Hong Kong. The run-down will be spread over two years and affect nearly five thousand employees.

    It has been necessitated by the current reorganisation of naval forces and their shore support throughout the world in the light of policy outlined in the Defence White Paper.

    Future requirements of naval vessels in the Far East will no longer justify the maintenance of a full-scale dockyard in Hong Kong.

    The closure will not mean the disappearance of warships from Hong Kong and Far Eastern waters. A number of vessels based on Hong Kong will continue to discharge the responsibilities of the Government for the protection of British shipping and the protection of the colony.

    A small naval base from which ships can be serviced and operated will be maintained in the island. In addition, other ships of the fleet in the Far East will continue to visit Hong Kong from time to time.

    The two-year run-down has been fixed to enable employees an opportunity of finding other employment. There is at present a boom in building and it is hoped that many will find work in this field.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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