HC Deb 18 March 1968 vol 761 cc14-5
14. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Technology how many warships, ordered for the Royal Navy or other navies, were launched in 1967 in shipyards inside and outside the development areas, respectively.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Technology (Mr. Gerry Fowler)

Three submarines, two destroyers and three frigates were launched from yards in development areas during 1967. Ten patrol craft were launched from a yard outside a development area in the same period.

Mr. Digby

Is it not evident that the Government's action with regard to R.E.P. is creating unfair competition between yards within development areas and warship builders outside?

Mr. Fowler

Orders for all of the craft I have mentioned were placed before the introduction of Regional Employment and Selective Employment Tax Premiums. It is, therefore, difficult to see what relevance the supplementary question could have to the Question.

Mr. McMaster

What preference do the Government give to development areas when they are placing naval construction contracts?

Mr. Fowler

That is a question for the Ministry of Defence.