HC Deb 10 June 1959 vol 606 cc976-7
14. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether in view of the announcement by the Cunard Company of their proposals for the replacement of the "Queen Mary" he will give an assurance that no commitments for a subsidy will be entered into before the terms have been announced to Parliament.

42. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if, before making a final decision about financial aid to the Cunard company for the building of any new vessel, he will make a statement to the House about the proposed terms on which such financial aid is given.

Mr. Hay

Any financial assistance which the Government might decide to give to the Cunard Company would require legislation and this would obviously have to come before the House. But I must emphasise that no decision has been taken on what form any such assistance might take or whether it should be given.

Dame Irene Ward

While thanking my hon. Friend for that very satisfactory reply, may I ask him to bear in mind, so that it may be on the record, that in my view the country could not stand too much money being tied up on one river?

Mr. Hay

I will take the fullest account of the views of my hon. Friend.

Mr. Beswick

I am sure the Parliamentary Secretary will be aware that my hon. Friends will also be pleased to hear that the terms under which financial assistance will be given to this company will be announced to the House. In view of the request made, can the Parliamentary Secretary say why the Institute of Directors has been so agitated at the Labour Party's proposal to give financial assistance to certain companies?

Mr. Hay

I do not answer for the Institute of Directors.