§ 39. Mr. CLARRY
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in order to relieve the lack of employment in British ship-repairing yards, he will consider any proposals to give Empire shipping a preference in home ports providing that only Empire subjects are employed on board, and that all possible repair work and orders for new ships are entrusted to British shipyards or, alternatively, what does he intend to do to increase employment in these necessitous areas?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of TRADE (Mr. A. V. Alexander)
The particular remedy which the hon. Member suggests is open to the grave objection that it would introduce the principle of flag discrimination, which would be very prejudicial to British shipping. The problem is part of the general problem of unemployment, and cannot well be dealt with separately.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
I would refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the Minister of Labour on Monday, and to the previous answer on the subject.
§ Mr. LUMLEY
Will the Board of Trade devise a scheme for the relief of unemployment in shipbuilding centres?
§ Mr. J. C. GOULD
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the fact that the American shipping companies are fined and taxed if they have repairs executed outside their own country?
§ Mr. ALEXANDER
It is not a matter that can be discussed by question and answer. It has been examined thoroughly and dealt with by the Imperial Economic Conference, and if the hon. Member desires to raise it further it can be raised in Debate.