HC Deb 01 August 1962 vol 664 cc97-8W
72. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Transport what was the amount of new orders booked by British shipyards in the last 12 months; and what this represents as a proportion of the average annual output of British shipyards in recent years.

Mr. Marples

In the twelve months to 30th June, 1962, shipbuilders in the United Kingdom booked new orders totalling 690,000 gross tons. This represents about 54 per cent. of the average tonnage launched annually in recent years.

73. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make a statement on the prospects of British shipbuilding during the next two years, and what action he is taking.

Mr. Marples

The British shipbuilding industry has been actively improving its competitiveness. However, there is too much shipbuilding capacity in the world, and too many ships; and there seems little prospect of a return to the volume of orders that our yards were receiving in the first dozen years after the war. The Government is giving close partnership and support to the British shipping industry, on whose orders our shipbuilders mainly depend, and is keeping a watch on the employment situation in the shipbuilding areas.

Mr. P. Williams

asked the Minister of Transport what representations are being made to the French Government about the subsidies at present being supplied to their shipbuilding industry, in view of their effect on the United Kingdom shipbuilding industry.

Mr. Marples

The views of Her Majesty's Government on French shipbuilding subsidies have been made plain to the French authorities on a number of occasions both in discussion and in correspondence.

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