HC Deb 15 December 1952 vol 509 cc964-5
49. Mr. Steward

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will consider taking steps to ensure that the maintenance work of British shipping is carried out in British ports by British workers.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I do not think that action on the lines suggested would be in the interest of those engaged either in ship repairing or in shipping.

Mr. Steward

Does my right hon. Friend appreciate that far too much repair work is being carried out in Continental ports which could be usefully carried out in British ports?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I am always glad to see British ships being repaired in British yards, but we must take account of the need for time saving in emergency repairs; and, on balance, we do far more work on foreign ships than foreign nations do on ours.

Mr. Lewis

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some members of the Engineering and Shipbuilding Union have complained that shipowners have their ships taken especially to Germany, Japan and other foreign ports to get repairs done cheaply and at the expense of British labour?

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

I have no evidence at all of that, and I hope the hon. Gentleman will pass on figures, with which I will supply him, indicating the value of this work to British yards engaged in repairing foreign ships.