84. Miss WARD
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in order to keep an even balance of skilled labour in all shipbuilding areas, he will take into consideration, in allocating the order for the "Ark Royal," the fact that, compared with November, 1933, in October of this year shipbuilding employment on the Clyde had increased by nearly 40 per cent., in Belfast by approximately 93 per cent., and on the North-West by over 10 per cent., whereas on the North-East Coast the increase was only 4 per cent.?
The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Lord Stanley)
I can assure my hon. Friend that all relevant considerations will be taken into account when allocating this order.
May I ask if my right hon. Friend is aware that in these areas the placing of a cruiser confers considerable financial advantages upon the Clyde and upon the Government of Northern Ireland, and does he not think that Admiralty orders to all areas should be placed upon an equal footing?
I cannot draw any comparison between the various shipbuilding areas, but I would remind the hon. Lady that only recently a cruiser was allocated to the North-East district.
§ Mr. KIRKWOOD
May I ask, in view of the fact that in both the question and the answer it is stated that the Clyde area has received special privileges from this Government in the way of financial grants, the same as Belfast, whether that is the case? I am quite ready to believe it about Belfast, but I want to know whether it is the case with the Clyde.
All districts are treated equally. The hon. Member's district got the other cruiser on the same occasion.
Is not the allocation of that cruiser a great tribute to the competitive value of the Tyne in quoting for orders?
§ Lord APSLEY
Would not the allocation of a few cruisers to the depressed areas solve the whole situation?