HC Deb 01 February 1961 vol 633 cc986-7
35. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make a further statement on the work of the sub-committee of the Shipbuilding Advisory Committee to consider the future of the shipbuilding industry.

66. Mr. McMaster

asked the Minister of Transport what action he proposes to take to combat increasing unemployment in British shipbuilding yards.

Mr. Marples

The sub-committee of the Shipbuilding Advisory Committee is now preparing an interim report which I hope will be ready before long. The Government will consider carefully any recommendations it may make.

Mr. Willey

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for so informing us, but will he keep the House well informed and make as full a statement as he can when he receives the report?

Mr. Marples

Yes, certainly I will. I am very anxious to receive this report, because the sub-committee comprises members of the union, employers, and independent people, and I am hoping that it will be a valuable report.

Mr. McMaster

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the urgency of this matter, because in the shipyards of Belfast over 6,000 men are threatened with redundancy within six months?

Mr. Diamond

"You have never had it so good."

Mr. Marples

Certainly I am aware of the urgency and difficulties of the shipbuilding industry.

Mr. Albu

Will these discussions include action arising out of the D.S.I.R. Report, and will the right hon. Gentleman suggest to the shipbuilders that they do not help their own case by denigrating what is already a Report which they have signed by agreement and which is in fact a compromise?

Mr. Marples

The sub-committee of the Shipbuilding Advisory Committee did see the D.S.I.R. Report, and I have no doubt that it took it into account. As I said before, because on the subcommittee we have both employers and employees, I am hoping that we shall have a good report.