5. Lieut.-Colonel MOORE
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been drawn to the depression which exists in the British shipbuilding industry at the present time, and, in particular, to the reduction in the percentage of tonnage built in British as opposed to foreign yards; and whether it is proposed to take any action with a view to improving the position of the shipbuilding industry in this country?
§ Mr. W. GRAHAM
I am fully alive to the serious depression which at present exists in the British shipbuilding industry. Hs Majesty's Government have constantly under consideration the steps 964 which can be taken to improve, by reorganisation and otherwise, the position of this and other industries.
In view of the figures that have been published in Lloyds List, and of the fact that other competing countries subsidise shipping in some form or other, will not the right hon. Gentleman consider laying down a time of life for all ships in order to give the industry some hope?
§ Mr. GRAHAM
I have already indicated in the Debates that we cannot promise a subsidy. As regards the length of life of ships, my hon. and gallant Friend will see very soon a report on obsolete tonnage, to which reference will be made later in the day.
§ Mr. GRAHAM
The report of this committee will be published shortly, and copies will be available for Members at the Vote Office.