Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:22 pm on 23rd May 1995.

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Photo of Mr Michael Heseltine Mr Michael Heseltine President of the Board of Trade 4:22 pm, 23rd May 1995

I know the hon. Gentleman's concern about his constituency and the wider region. I hope that he will understand when I say that I have tried, to the limits of my endeavour, to find a buyer or to find work for Cammell. I have done the same thing for Swan—[Interruption.] No. The fact is that my Department and I have literally travelled the world trying to find a solution to Swan Hunter's problems. We have not found a solution—I do not like to tell the House that, but I must do so. We have explored every practical suggestion or alternative that we could think of, without success in that case. We all know that demand has diminished.

I have looked up the sorts of speeches that Labour Ministers in my position made in order to justify nationalising the aircraft and shipbuilding industries—I shall not weary the House with the details, unless hon. Members wish me to do so. Nevertheless, Labour Ministers explained to the House as clearly as I have done the need to take difficult decisions in changing circumstances.