§ 27. Mr. William Hannan
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will pay an official visit to Glasgow.
§ 28. Mr. Lambie
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will visit Glasgow and address the employees of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Limited.
§ 29. Mr. Tom McMillan
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will pay an official visit to Clydebank.
§ Mr. John Davies
I visited Glasgow on 14th May. I will bear the possibility of a further visit in mind.
§ Mr. Hannan
Will the right hon. Gentleman go a little further and give a firm date, because thousands of trade unionists want to convey to him, in firm inelegant language, what they think of the Government's policy? In view of the accumulated evidence from some of the replies which he himself has given, and in view of the conflicting statements of the events leading up to the introduction of the liquidation, does not the right hon. Gentleman consider that the Government have been far too precipitate in this decision? Will he go to Glasgow and re-examine all the facts on the spot?
§ Mr. Davies
I have the advantage of the guidance of a group of experts and of the liquidator. This will provide me with a great deal of information which will be of great help. However, the truth is that the precipitate action of the Government, to which the hon. Gentleman refers, was brought about by the extraordinarily precipitate action of the company, which suddenly realised that it was in deficit without the least warning to anybody.
§ Mr. Rankin
When the right hon. Gentleman went to Glasgow, did he find out how many ships were being built in the shipyards in Glasgow? Is he saying that those ships which were being built, and are now being built, have no backing from the Government?
§ Mr. Davies
On the contrary, were it not for the Government's timely aid, the 14 ships currently being built in the yards of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders would not now be being built. The whole of the work force would have been dissipated and the work would not now be going on. The hon. Gentleman should certainly not reproach the Government for failure to act in this matter.