HC Deb 24 November 1965 vol 721 c509
52. Mr. Rankin

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on his Department's policy with regard to the ordering of ships from the Fairfield shipbuilding yard.

Mr. Christopher Mayhew

At the time of the appointment of a receiver and manager by the Bank of Scotland in mid-October, Fairfield's had naval contracts for two guided missile destroyers. The position on these major orders is under discussion between my Department and the receiver, in conjunction with the general consideration now being given to the future of the company.

Mr. Rankin

Is my hon. Friend aware that it is one thing to have orders but another thing to have the instruction to proceed with an order? We appreciate having the right to draw up to £1 million, but does my hon. Friend realise that the £1 million, while it is helpful, must be supplemented by work? Will he see to it that Fairfield gets the instruction to go ahead with the second missile frigate?

Mr. Mayhew

As I have said, talks a re going on with the receiver. I should be careful not to prejudice them.