§ 21. Mr. PEARSON
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will state the number of shipyards which have been closed up to date, and the areas affected, by the operation of the National Shipbuilding Securities, Limited?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I am informed that 20 shipyards, mainly on the Clyde and the North East Coast, involving 102 berths and an annual capacity of 704,000 tons, have been closed in connection with the scheme for reducing surplus capacity in the shipbuilding industry.
§ 22. Mr. PEARSON
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether representations have been made to him with regard to the activities of National Shipbuilding Securities, Limited, restricting the future use, for shipbuilding purposes, of land acquired by them on north-east coast rivers; is he aware that the local authorities are calling a conference on the subject; and what action he proposes to take to protect communities which are affected by such restrictions?
§ Dr. BURGIN
I have received copies of resolutions passed by certain local authorities on the North-East Coast and I have been informed of the proposed conference of local authorities, but I do not see any grounds on which I could properly take action in the matter.
§ Mr. PEARSON
Will the hon. Gentleman be prepared to receive representations from local authorities?
§ Mr. DICKIE
Is the Government alive to the danger of leaving these districts absolutely derelict, throwing out of employment thousands of skilled workers, without a hope of finding employment in their own industry?