§ 87. Mr. Peter Freeman
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that export work in the United Kingdom shipyards accounted for only 27 per cent. of the 2,133,000 tons of shipping under construction on 31st March, 1953, and was the lowest proportion of work building for overseas account since the war; what was the reason of this decrease; and what steps are taken to augment the supply of ships for foreign markets.147W
§ Mr. Digby
Yes. It is the practice in the shipbuilding industry to execute contracts in their regular order, and variations in the home and export proportions of the tonnage actually under construction at any one time are, therefore, to be expected. The export proportion of the total tonnage building and on order but not yet started is 41 per cent. No special preference is given to export orders, as it is quite as advantageous to the balance of payments to build ships for British owners as for export.