HC Deb 04 March 1965 vol 707 cc1509-10
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. Mason

I have nothing to add to the Answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Wallsend (Mr. Garrett) on 11th February.

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?

Hon. Members


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.

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