§ 79. Mr. Millan
asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent the terms of the loan given by Her Majesty's Government included conditions regarding the placing of the contract for the dredging work at the new graving dock at Greenock; whether he is satisfied that the placing of this contract with a London-based firm complied with the public purposes for which the loan was made; and if he will make a statement.
§ 81. Dr. Dickson Mabon
asked the President of the Board of Trade to what extent the terms of the agreement under which a loan of nearly £3 million was granted by Her Majesty's Government to the Firth of Clyde Dry Dock Company enable him to influence the use of this money for furtherance of local employment.
§ 83. Mr. Lawson
asked the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received about the loan of public money granted to the Firth of Clyde Dry Dock Company in view of the fact that 156W the loan has been used to place a contract with the Westminster Dredging Company which is contrary to the public purposes for which the loan was granted; and what was the nature of his replies.
§ 84 and 85. Mr. Hannan
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he is aware that the Clyde Navigation Trust have been refused a contract that would have ensured work in the area by the Firth of Clyde Dry Dock Company and that the contract has been awarded to a company from outside the area; and to what extent this is compatible with the terms under which a substantial loan of public money was made to the Dry Dock Company;
(2) if he will hold an inquiry into the use of the loan of public money granted to the Firth of Clyde Dry Dock Company for the placing of the contract with the Westminster Dredging Company contrary to the public purposes of the loan.
§ Mr. D. Price
The Board of Trade agreed in October, 1960 to lend £2.85 million of the total estimated cost of £4.25 million for the construction of a graving dock and ancillary services at Greenock. The purpose of the loan was to promote employment in a development district. The company estimate that over 1,000 permanent jobs will be provided by this project, when it is completed.
The company's award of a dredging contract to the Westminster Dredging Company has been the subject of representations to the Government from the Clyde Navigation Trust, the Lanarkshire County Council and the Scottish Labour Party.
The terms of the loan agreement, other than those announced publicly by the Firth of Clyde Dry Dock Company, are confidential as between the Board of Trade and the company. They do not, however, entitle the Board of Trade to intervene with the company over the detailed execution of their project. It is entirely for the Dry Dock Company, in the exercise of their business judgment, to decide which contractors to employ and there are accordingly no grounds on which the Government could hold an enquiry into the manner in which the contract has been awarded.