HC Deb 11 April 1967 vol 744 cc958-9
18. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Technology what progress is being made, with the assistance of the Shipbuilding Industry Board, towards the grouping of shipyards in general and all those on the upper Clyde in particular.

Mr. Dell

The Shipbuilding Industry Board is co-operating with firms planning shipbuilding groups, and with a working party set up by five of the larger upper Clyde shipbuilders. It is not for me to give detailed guidance to the Board on how it should carry out its task.

Mr. Digby

Will the Parliamentary Secretary ask the Board to make its report as soon as possible so as to avoid uncertainty? Will he further ask the Board to try to include all the existing yards in the group?

Mr. Dell

The Shipbuilding Industry Board will certainly deal with this matter as rapidly as possible. The Board will certainly include within its consideration all yards in the upper Clyde area.

Mr. Edward M. Taylor

As Geddes said that shipbuilding would expand, why is the sub-committee looking into a merger which would have the effect of leaving out at least one substantial firm which is a major employer and a modern yard?

Mr. Dell

The fact that only these five firms are involved in this committee does not imply that any specific yard to which the hon. Gentleman may be referring will be omitted from the eventual grouping.