HC Deb 10 November 1969 vol 791 cc23-4
26. Mr. Edward M. Taylor

asked the Minister of Technology if he will make a further statement on the position of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders.

Mr. Benn

Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Limited has received the financial assistance recommended for it in June by the Shipbuilding Industry Board, which continues to keep in close touch with the company.

Mr. Taylor

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that the best way to squash the ill-founded and mischievous rumours circulating last week about the continued survival of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders would be for the firm to obtain some new orders? Would the Shipbuilding Industry Board and his Ministry give every possible assistance to the company in its current search for new work?

Mr. Benn

I am sure that the ordering prospects for the company are improving, but I also think it best, as I have said in the past, not to encourage an atmosphere of crisis. The company, which has received this assistance, the board and ourselves are in continuing contact.

Mr. Small

Does my right hon. Friend recognise that Upper Clyde Shipbuilders has now established a degree of credibility and is in the market for further orders? I hope that it will be left alone so that it can get on with the job which the Government have helped it to perform.

Mr. Benn

I share that view.