§ 30. Commander Kerans
asked the Minister of Transport what contracts have been placed in the United Kingdom arising from the recent voting of expenditure in the Argentine for the rebuilding of their navy over the next ten years; and if he will make a statement.
§ 31. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Minister of Transport, in view of the fact that the Argentine Congress last December voted that the equivalent of approximately £100 million worth of new orders be placed in Europe for the reconstruction of the Argentine Navy, and of the talks between representatives of the British and Argentine Governments which resulted in a British naval force 1310 under Admiral Copeman visiting Argentina during the Christmas Recess, if he will now state the result of these talks so far as they were concerned with the placing of shipbuilding orders in the United Kingdom, indicating how many of these orders will be placed in British shipyards and British factories for acessories.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Vice-Admiral John Hughes Hallett)
Negotiations are proceeding between certain British shipyards and the Argentine Navy in respect of orders for ships worth approximately £25 million and do not think that it would be helpful to these negotiations to make any statement now.
§ Commander Kerans
If there is any likelihood of orders being placed in the North-East, will my hon. and gallant Friend bear in mind the high rate of unemployment in my constituency?
§ Mr. Hughes
Does the hon. and gallant Gentleman realise that this is another example of the conspiracy between Ministers of the present Government to divert trade, industry and employment from Scotland to England?
§ Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett
I do not think I could accept that. It does not arise on this Question.