HC Deb 29 July 1964 vol 699 c329W
100. Mr. Awbery

asked the Secretary of State for Defence, in view of the fact that an assurance was given at the time of the transfer of the dry docks that the floating dock should remain in Malta, except for strategic purposes, and that it is now being sold and may pass to a competitor and have a detrimental effect upon future ship-repairing work on the island, if he will take steps to hold an inquiry into the original assurances given and the effect the sale would have upon the economy of Malta.

Mr. Hay

No. The only assurance given at the time of the transfer of the dry docks was that the floating dock would be allowed to remain in Malta indefinitely to meet the requirements of Messrs. Bailey (Malta) Limited, subject to the negotiation of satisfactory terms for its use by the Company. The terms originally agreed were subject to review after two years, and thereafter should circumstances change. Now that the strategic requirement for it in Malta has lapsed, and the conversion of Nos. 4 and 5 dry docks is nearing completion, the Company have decided that it is no longer worthwhile retaining the floating dock at an economic rent. In reaching this conclusion they no doubt took into account the effect of a possible sale of the dock on their competitive position.