§ 6. Mr. PERKINS
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will consider placing all future naval contracts only in Government yards, in view of the considerable body of opinion in this country that the manufacture of arms should be under Government control?
The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Sir Bolton Eyres Monsell)
No, Sir. The course suggested is impracticable. The principal function of the Royal Dockyards is the work of repairing and maintainting the Fleet. Even in normal times it would he impossible for the Royal Dockyards to build all the ships required. But even if this were possible, there would remain the fact that in time of emergency or pressure the necessary expansion would be utterly impossible without the assistance of the private shipbuilding yards; for this reason, apart from any other, it is essential that the skilled shipbuilders of these yards should be available for naval work. The Government's view on the proper method of controlling the private manufacture of arms have been stated on more than one occasion.
§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
Does the right hon. Gentleman imply that the Government could not in any circumstances provide all the arms that would be required by the State?
§ Commander MARSDEN
Is it not a fact that the Royal Dockyards are full of work the whole time on repair work?