HC Deb 07 November 1939 vol 353 cc78-9W
Miss Wilkinson

asked the Minister of Shipping (1) whether, in view of the serious reduction in British shipbuilding capacity as a result of the activities of National Shipbuilders' Security, Limited, he can state what measures are contemplated by the Ministry to increase the productive capacity of the British shipbuilding industry;

(2) whether, in view of the need for increased shipbuilding capacity, any measures are contemplated which will free the shipyard site of Palmers', Jarrow, from the restrictive ban imposed on it by the National Shipbuilders Security, Limited?

Sir J. Gilmour

I have in hand a programme of shipbuilding and am advised that restrictions on yards previously regarded as redundant will not be a limiting factor in that programme.

Mr. Maxton

asked the Minister of Shipping whether he is taking steps to replace lost tonnage by new construction; whether available shipyards, plant and labour are now fully occupied; and whether all the powers previously possessed by the Board of Trade in matters of shipbuilding have now been transferred to his Ministry?

Sir J. Gilmour

Yes, Sir. The hon. Member will understand that although shipyards suitable for building cargo-carriers may be fully employed, it is impracticable to arrange such an even flow of work that there would never be surplus labour in particular trades.

The answer to the last part of the question is in the affirmative.