§ 7. Mr. Dodds
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he can yet state in what way his Department will give practical assistance to Gibraltar in the efforts being made to solve the economic problems that have arisen; and whether it will now include the provision of oil tankerage facilities for commercial purposes.
§ Mr. J. P. L. Thomas
My Department is anxious to render such practical assistance as it can to the economy of Gibraltar. In particular, the Admiralty's consideration of the possibility of providing oil tankerage facilities for commercial purposes, to which my hon. Friend the Civil Lord referred in his reply to the hon. Member's Question on 16th March, is well advanced and I hope that it will be possible to reach a decision shortly on this highly technical question.
§ Mr. Dodds
Does not the First Lord appreciate that this matter has been receiving consideration for quite a long while, and that Gibraltar is in a very difficult position, while the neighbouring Spanish port of Ceuta is making great strides at the expense of Gibraltar? The right hon. Gentleman's Department could alter all that.
§ Mr. Thomas
I realise that this matter has taken a considerable time, but it is a highly technical question. I hope I can say that a decision is not very far away.