HC Deb 20 July 1955 vol 544 cc45-6W
Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if his attention has been drawn to the competition of German, Dutch and Scandinavian with British shipbuilding yards and the need for a period of stability to enable British yards to meet this competition successfully; and what his present plans are to solve the relevant problems.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

I am aware of the competition for shipbuilding orders which comes from Continental yards. A period of stability would no doubt contribute towards meeting this competition, but there are other factors such as the size of British firms' order books which affect their competitive position.

With the rehabilitation of Continental yards after the last war, a renewal of competition was inevitable. The substantial order book of the United Kingdom industry and the rate of new orders this year will ensure that most shipbuilders will have a full programme of work for some time.