§ what he said. I am glad, and I know that he will be glad, to note that there is some improvement in the shipbuilding position in Aberdeen. I am glad to say that Hall Russells have accepted an order for three car ferries worth £1½ million. As the hon. and learned Gentleman knows, we shall do all we can to improve the employment position in Aberdeen.
§ Following is the table of figures:
§ work in five from 28th January but that the firm hopes to be able to end short-time working by July at the latest if normal wastage is at the expected rate.
§ Mrs. Hart
Is the Minister aware that this very serious short-time work position in the new town of East Kilbride is occurring in a modern industry and not one of the declining industries of Scotland? Is he aware further that any 571 hopes of a return to normal work by the middle of the year will, to some extent at any rate, depend on the degree of help given by the Minister of Aviation? Will the right hon. Gentleman consult his right hon. Friend on this matter?
§ Mr. Manuel
Does the Minister recognise the danger here? His reply to my hon. Friend holds out very little hope of some immediate improvement. Is he aware further that it is too much to expect the skilled workers to hang on for a six-month period losing one week in four or one week in five, as the case may be? Therefore, the skilled labour force is likely to be lost.
§ Mr. Hare
I appreciate the dangers of which the hon. Gentleman has spoken. He knows my concern that Scotland should not lose more skilled labour than possible. In fact, he knows that my desire is to see that Scotland builds up a bigger pool of skilled labour in order that it can take advantage of expansion when expansion comes. This, I believe, will not be too long delayed.