13. Mr. Ron Brown
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent representations he has received regarding the shipbuilding industry in Scotland.
§ Mr. Allan Stewart
My right hon. Friend met a delegation of Scottish Church leaders on 14 November and I had meetings in September with representatives of local interests about shipyards on lower Clyde, Govan Shipbuilders and Henry Robb, Leith.
Bearing in mind that Robb's of Leith has now completed the last vessel on its order book, will the Minister use all his influence to bring forward Ministry of Defence orders to help the shipbuilding industry in general and Robbs in particular?
§ Mr. Stewart
The Ministry of Defence recognises the present difficulties facing the yard and the industry generally. Henry Robb has been given an opportunity to tender for a number of Ministry of Defence orders, along with other small United Kingdom yards, including Hall Russell. The tenders are currently being assessed. The Ministry hopes to place some orders before the end of the year.