§ Mr. FLETCHER
asked the Prime Minister if he will state the names of the officials who took over the Standard Shipbuilding Company's yard at Chepstow in August last; and if any loss of output has resulted from the transfer of the yard to the Government?1647W
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. The Standard Shipbuilding Company's yard at Chepstow was taken over by the Lands Branch of the War Office and Ministry of Munitions on Instructions from the Admiralty. No loss of output has been sustained by this action, but, on the contrary, a much larger output will be secured by the transfer.
§ Mr. STEWART
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the Government have commandeered the Chepstow shipbuilding yard from private owners who had raised £ 600,000 to equip the yard and were ready to begin shipbuilding at once; if so, whether any progress in building has been made since the Government have acquired the yard; and what compensation, if any, is to be given to the founders of the enterprise?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative, but the progress being made with the construction of the yard at the time it was taken over was not such as to enable any start to be made with the actual building of ships. Very good progress has been made with the construction of the yard since the Government acquired it, and the building of ships will be commenced at an early date. Two berths are already completed, and it is anticipated that eight berths will be completed by October next. It is proposed to commence actual ship construction during the present month. The question of compensation to the owners of the property taken over is still the subject of negotiation.