HC Deb 20 September 1948 vol 456 cc38-9W
133. Mr. J. L. Williams

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he is aware that allocations of steel to Clyde shipyards have been steadily declining with the result that numbers of employees have been suspended and others are threatened with suspension; and will he take steps to have the position remedied.

Mr. W. Edwards

Allocations of steel for merchant shipbuilding are made to each individual shipyard at quarterly intervals in relation to their requirements for the particular quarter, and the total steel available for allocation to new merchant ship construction. The individual allocations necessarily fluctuate from quarter to quarter and the system ensures that as far as possible each shipbuilder receives a fair share of the total steel available for allocation. It follows that the total of the allocations made for new shipbuilding to Clyde ship builders shows variations in both directions from quarter to quarter. I am aware that a number of steel workers have been paid off in one Clyde shipyard, but I have no information of any immediate downward trend in employment in the shipbuilding yards on the Clyde.