§ 79. Mr. Awbery
asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what tonnage was being constructed in foreign yards for British shipowners for the years 1955 to 1958; and what steps he is taking to improve the demand for dry cargo vessels since, without an early increase in this tonnage, some of the small yards will have to close down.
§ Mr. Hay
The total gross registered tonnage of ships being built in foreign yards for registration in the United Kingdom at the end of each of the years from 1955–58 was as follows1955, 96,000; 1956, 150,000; 1957, 273,000; 1958, 399,000.The bulk of the tonnage in 1957 and 1958 was tanker tonnage.
As to the second part of the Question, the demand for dry cargo ships depends largely on the level of world trade, and it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to do everything in its power to promote the expansion of this trade.