HC Deb 16 December 1908 vol 198 cc1844-5
MR. MIDDLEMORE (Birmingham, N.)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the Admiralty will state what, if any, shipbuilding work has been placed with the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company since the launch of the "Black Prince" in 1904.


An order for a torpedo-boat destroyer has recently been provisionally placed with the company. They have also contracted for the machinery of steamboats, the hulls of which were built by other firms; and have from time to time been given orders for replacing parts of machinery, etc.


I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty in view of the fact that it is of national moment that a fully-equipped shipbuilding yard should exist in the immediate neighbourhood of London, and that shipbuilding plant cannot be maintained in idleness, whether the Admiralty, in giving out their contracts for the next year's programme, will give full consideration to the claims of the Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company.


The Admiralty have always given full consideration to the lenders for shipbuilding contracts submitted by the Thames Ironworks Company, and will continue to do so in the future.

MR. CROOKS (Woolwich)

If unable to give these people a contract, will the Government, in the interests of the defence of London, lay a ship down and I build it themselves on the Thames?


We have no dock-yard there.


Hire it.

MR. WEDGWOOD (Newcastle-under-Lyme)

Is it not the fact that exactly similar arguments might be brought forward on behalf of Messrs. Armstrong, Vickers-Maxim, and Beardmore?


Yes. I understand similar arguments would be brought forward on behalf of those firms.