HC Deb 08 May 1962 vol 659 cc196-7
13. Mr. Awbery

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if the transfer of the naval dockyard at Malta to Messrs. Bailey has now been completed; and if he will give to the House details of the financial and other terms of the agreement as now completed.

Mr. Maudling

Bailey (Malta) Limited took over the dockyard on 30th March, 1959. On the second part of the Question may I refer the hon. Member to the agreement of 11th September, 1959, a copy of which has been laid on the Table, and to my predecessor's statement in the House on 18th May last about the revision of the original plan.

Mr. Awbery

Am I to understand from that that the agreement with Malta was concluded three years ago? Is it not the case that it was proposed to transfer the naval dockyard into a commercial one and that no start has been made so far? Is it not the case that machinery and plant have been removed from the dockyard, and that men in Malta are becoming concerned because the employment position will be affected? Will the right hon. Gentleman look into this now?

Mr. Maudling

I think that there has been some disappointment over progress. If I remember correctly, contracts have recently been let and work will be starting soon.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Will my right hon. Friend at a convenient time publish the report about the workings of Messrs. Bailey in the Malta dockyard? Does he realise that there is much dissatisfaction? Will he tell the House what the position is?

Mr. Maudling

As the House is aware, I am making an inquiry into the workings at Malta dockyard. Someone has been appointed to do this. We have also appointed a Government director. As to publication, we must wait and see what emerges.

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