HC Deb 16 November 1908 vol 196 cc858-9
MR. STEADMAN (Finsbury, Central)

On behalf of the hon. Member for Dept-ford, I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in the placing of work in connection with the year's shipbuilding programme, he will consider the advisability of so allocating the contracts as to ensure that they shall be spread over as large an area as possible, thereby ensuring that the port of London, in common with other shipbuilding centres, may receive a share of such work and the stress of unemployment be reduced in as many districts as possible.


I cannot undertake that any particular district shall have a contract for shipbuilding allotted to it. In the allocation of these contracts, regard must be had to considerations of price and comparative excellence of work. Subject to this understanding, the contracts will be spread over as large an area as possible.


Do not the whole of the taxpayers of the country have to contribute towards both shipbuilding and repairing, and that being so, have we any right to shut out the thousands of starving men in the East End of London because their labour and material cost more than in the North?


That is a matter for argument.

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