HC Deb 10 April 1963 vol 675 cc1249-50
2. Commander Kerans

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what consideration he is giving to the placing of the proposed Admiralty orders for replenishment ships to yards on Tees-side, in view of the present high level of unemployment in the area.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

Tenders for the two new Fleet replenishment ships were invited in February. These ships are designed to full warship standard and this did not make it possible for us to invite tenders from firms on Tees-side. Three firms of the warship group on the North-East Coast were invited to tender.

Commander Kerans

I hope that my hon. Friend will reconsider this issue, bearing in mind that Furness and Withy, although outside my constituency, is very close indeed to it. Will my hon. Friend consider this issue as a special case, bearing in mind that we have surplus labour at the Hartlepools from Grays & Grays (Tees), which is now facing a difficult time?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I am well aware of the very considerable difficulties of the shipbuilding industry in the North-East. This is a matter not only for the Admiralty but also for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport.