Exports to U.S.S.R.

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North 12:00 am, 2nd November 1955

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what are the restrictions upon the placing of orders in British shipyards by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other East European countries.

Photo of Mr James Thomas Mr James Thomas , Hereford

Apart from warships and a few types of merchant ship of particular strategic value, there is no prohibition on the export of ships to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other Eastern European countries.

Photo of Mr Frederick Willey Mr Frederick Willey , Sunderland North

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his explicit reply, may I ask if he would further define the particular types of merchant ships the building of which is prohibited, because there is still some confusion about this matter?

Photo of Mr James Thomas Mr James Thomas , Hereford

I think that the position is pretty well understood by those in authority. Some ships concerned are tankers, which are useful for refuelling submarines; whaling factory ships, which are used as submarine depot ships and whalecatchers, which are convertible into anti-submarine vessels or minelayers.

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that these restrictions which the British Government make in regard to Soviet orders are being complied with by every other N.A.T.O. Power and that we are not being placed in an unfair position?

Photo of Mr James Thomas Mr James Thomas , Hereford

These are not restrictions made by the British Government they are international. An international decision is taken by an international committee.