§ 18. Mr. Ridsdale
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the visit of the Minister of State to Japanese shipyards.
§ Mr. Ridsdale
Would the hon. Gentleman say why it is not possible for a White Paper to be published on his visit to the Japanese shipyards? Is this a restrictive practice on the part of the President of the Board of Trade to prevent the showing up of our restrictive practices?
§ Mr. Mason
I try not to be restrictive myself. I have already addressed both sides of the industry when I addressed the Shipbuilding Advisory Committee on my tour of the Japanese yards I have addressed the Committee of Inquiry as well. If the industry considers that there is need for a Paper on the subject, if it applies pressure I may give way.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes
Is my hon. Friend aware that the Japanese are making such headway in shipbuilding because they have no heavy defence expenditure?
§ Mr. Barber
Will the Minister tell the House what new facts he learnt from his visit to Japan which were not already known by the Departments concerned?
§ Mr. Mason
All of the reports which I read prior to my visit to Japan—of the various delegations and industrialists who had been there—did not point out so forcefully the need for a higher technical management, the need for computer-based operations in every shipyard and the need for the greater use of graduates from technical colleges and universities.