§ 55. Mr. Colvin
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last met the new managing director of Gibrepair Ltd.; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Colvin
Does my hon. Friend recall that one of the conditions for financial assistance by the Government to Gibrepair Ltd. to assist with the privatisation of the former royal naval dockyard was that a system of proper industrial relations practices, a sort of code of conduct, should be agreed between management and worker? Those of us who visited the dockyard during the summer were disappointed to find that there had been little progress on that front and that that was not the fault of the shop floor. Will my hon. Friend ensure that no further payments are made to Gibrepair Ltd., until the management and unions agree on a proper system of working practices, bearing in mind the extremely competitive market in which Gibrepair is operating?
§ Mr. Patten
I am sure that that is a matter which should and does concern the Government of Gibraltar as the owners of Gibrepair. My hon. Friend will know that in 1983 we agreed to provide up to £28 million towards the establishment and initial working capital of Gibrepair Ltd., and £26.6 million of that has been spent. We agreed in 1986 to allocate a further £2.4 million as a final contribution to the capital costs of the project. Final in those circumstances means final.