Foreign-Built Ships.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 6th December 1938.

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Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the fact that in the last year 65 new vessels, amounting in all to over 24,000 tons gross tonnage, were built in Holland for British owners and that the shipyards of Great Britain are better qualified than those of any other country to build vessels of all sizes, he will consider stimulating the building of ships in this country either by making Government credit available for this purpose or by some other form of Government assistance calculated to provide work for shipbuilding yards all over Britain which are now, or will soon be, short of work?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

I have already assured the hon. Member that the position of the shipbuilding industry is engaging my close attention. I cannot, at present, make any further statement on the subject.

Photo of Mr George Garro-Jones Mr George Garro-Jones , Aberdeen North

In view of the rapid deterioration of the employment position in practically all these shipbuilding yards, can the right hon. Gentleman say when he expects to be able to give us some information?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

I have already told the House that it is very difficult to deal with the question of shipbuilding apart from the question of the shipping industry as a whole. I am now awaiting a report from the shipping industry, and I hope to get it fairly soon.

Photo of Mr Malcolm Macmillan Mr Malcolm Macmillan , Na h-Eileanan an Iar

Do the Government accept responsibility for the deterioration of the shipping industry?

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

asked the President of the Board of Trade the number and tonnage of British ships now being built in foreign yards?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

I have no official information regarding shipbuilding orders placed abroad, but, according to information contained in the Press, 25 ships of 123,000 gross tons are shown as being built in foreign yards for British owners, of which eight ships of 56,000 gross tons are shown as being built in German yards.

Photo of Mr Frank Collindridge Mr Frank Collindridge , Barnsley

Could the right hon. Gentleman say what amount of British tonnage has been demolished by the Spanish rebels?