§ 52. Mr. Leadbitter
asked the Minister of Technology what discussions he has had on the proposed closure of the Furness shipyard; and if he will make a statement.
§ Dr. Bray
My right hon. Friend had discussions with the yard's owners, the national and local leaders of the unions, the Shipbuilding Industry Board and other shipbuilding organisations. As a result, he decided to arrange for a rapid economic appraisal to be made to see whether any way could be found to put the yard on a long-term viable basis.
§ Mr. Leadbitter
Is my hon. Friend aware that I, as a Member in that area, am particularly grateful for his personal assistance in this matter, but nevertheless there is a shortage of time? Is he aware that in this yard, which is the most modern in Europe, the rundown in manpower is at such a rate that if the decision is not made to keep it open, time will run out for us?