HC Deb 07 April 1965 vol 710 cc78-9W
64. Sir C. Osborne

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the Shell Petroleum Company's order for four 165,000-ton tankers recently went to Japan and Germany; to what extent this was due to the high prices and unsatisfactory delivery dates of British products; what are the reasons for this situation; what action he is taking with employers and trade unions to make British prices more competitive; arid if he will make a statement.

Mr. Mason

The placing abroad by Shell International Marine Ltd. of orders for four 165,000 ton tankers was a matter for the commercial judgment of the firm. I understand that price was a factor of major importance in this decision, but the situation varies from case to case and the shipbuilding industry's home and export orders have recently reached a very high level. As to the longer term, the Shipbuilding Inquiry Committee is considering what steps should be taken to make our industry fully competitive in world markets.