HC Deb 02 February 1965 vol 705 cc272-3W
Mr. Bence

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is now in a position to make an announcement on the proposed committee of inquiry into the shipbuilding industry.

Mr. Jay

Yes. I am pleased to say that Mr. Reay Geddes, O.B.E., Managing Director of the Dunlop Rubber Co. Ltd., has accepted my invitation to serve as Chairman of this Committee. Mr. Geddes is at present a member of the National Economic Development Council, but at my request the First Secretary of State has agreed to his release from that Council to enable him to accept this important appointment.

The terms of reference of the Committee will be:—

  1. (a) to establish what changes are necessary in organisation, in the methods of production, and any other factors affecting costs to make the shipbuilding industry competitive in world markets;
  2. (b) to establish what changes in organisation and methods of production would reduce costs of manufacture of large main engines of ships to the lowest level; and
  3. (c) to recommend what action should be taken by employers, trade unions, and Government, to bring about these changes.
The Committee will be concerned with shipyards regularly building vessels of 5,000 gross tons and above (or naval vessels of equivalent value), but will also be able to consider the implications of their investigations for shipyards building sea-going vessels of lower tonnage. The Committee will also be concerned with the manufacture of steam turbines and slow-running diesels normally installed in ships of 5,000 gross tons and above (or naval vessels of equivalent value).

I hope to be able to announce the names of the other members of the Committee shortly.