HC Deb 28 May 1968 vol 765 cc1529-30
Ql. Viscount Lambton

asked the Prime Minister what has been the result of his inquiries as to whether the Argentine Government has delayed the placing of an order in United Kingdom shipyards until the future of the Falkland Islands has been decided.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Wilson)

I am satisfied that there is no truth in this story, Sir.

Viscount Lambton

Would the Prime Minister say why the provisional orders made by the Argentine Government for ships in the Scott Lithgow merger group and the Yarrow shipyards have not been confirmed? Does he not also agree that the policy initiated by the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. George Brown) of trying to buy business by offering concessions which later could not be honoured has given us the worst of all worlds?

The Prime Minister

The noble Lord has got the facts wrong here. For these naval vessels the Argentine Government are shopping around in a number of countries to get the best terms and prices. We are naturally hoping that we shall get the order. I am satisfied that there is no discrimination and no question of this being allied to the question of the future of the Falkland Islands. There was reason to suspect that during the ban on the shipment of Argentine meat a number of orders were being held up, but this has nothing to do with the Falkland Islands.

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