§ Sir R. GOWER
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty for what reason it is claimed that it is more expensive at the present time to build destroyers in private yards rather than in His Majesty's dockyards; and whether he will arrange for this matter to be re-examined, taking into account only the strictly comparable costs, and making due allowance for the necessarily higher permanent overheads which have to be borne by His Majesty's dockyards?
I am not aware of any claim having been made that the costs of building destroyers in private yards are in excess of those for building such vessels in His Majesty's dockyards, nor is there any reason to believe that economy would result from building destroyers in His Majesty's dockyards. As the hon. Member will realise, the allocation of construction work as between private and Government yards is not determined solely on a question of cost, but must have regard to the size of the shipbuilding programme and the facilities available in the dockyards over and above those required for their principal function of repairing and maintaining the Fleet.