South African Orders

Oral Answers to Questions — Shipbuilding – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd November 1955.

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Photo of Mr Paul Williams Mr Paul Williams , Sunderland South 12:00 am, 2nd November 1955

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many orders for new naval vessels have been placed as a result of the recent agreement with the Government of the Union of South Africa.

Photo of Mr James Thomas Mr James Thomas , Hereford

None, Sir. The first orders for the programme will be placed in the near future.

Photo of Mr Paul Williams Mr Paul Williams , Sunderland South

Is my right hon. Friend aware that at present the shipyards, certainly those in the North-East of England, are suffering from a shortage of steel? Is it not a possibility that the present programme may be put back even further?

Photo of Mr James Thomas Mr James Thomas , Hereford

I will go into that point, but I hope very much not.

Photo of Mr Arthur Bottomley Mr Arthur Bottomley , Rochester and Chatham

Is the right hon. Gentleman now in a position to give me an answer to the question which I put to him earlier when he made his statement? Can he say what work will go to Chatham Dockyard?

Photo of Mr James Thomas Mr James Thomas , Hereford

I cannot say what work will go to Chatham Dockyard, but I can say that all shipyards and dockyards will be considered fairly so far as the orders to which the Question refers are concerned.