§ 2. Mr. Willey
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what assistance has been recently given to the Sunderland shipbuilding firms who have had difficulty in obtaining steel supplies in proper sequence.
§ The Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. T. G. D. Galbraith)
The Admiralty has received no requests for assistance from Sunderland shipbuilding firms during this year, and the direct answer to the Question, therefore, is "none". I should expect the general improvement in supplies to be already reducing this difficulty and, in due course, to eliminate it altogether.
§ Mr. Willey
While I am much obliged to the Civil Lord for that answer, may I ask, since complaints have been made, whether if representations are made to him, he will use his good offices to assist in this problem? The yards have made a very big effort in overcoming the backlog of the work lost earlier in the year.
§ Mr. Galbraith
I am, of course, always willing to help in any way that I can, but I think I ought to point out to the hon. Gentleman that Sunderland shipyards have received 15 per cent. more plates and heavy sections so far this year 1112 than last year, and therefore the difficulties to which he has referred ought progressively to be becoming less and less.
§ Mr. P. Williams
Is my hon. Friend aware that the people who are interested in this matter are grateful for the assistance which has been given by the Admiralty in the years gone by?