Mr. Ted Fletcher
asked the Minister of Technology in view of the purchase by Messrs. Whessoe Limited of the fabrication business of Asmore, Benson Pease Limited, which was assisted by a loan of £3½ million from the I.R.C., what steps he proposes to take to ensure that orders for pressure vessels and associated work, which are now being placed by the oil, chemical and gas industries with foreign firms, are diverted to British firms in the vessel pressure field.
§ Mr. Benn
I am satisfied that the purchase by Whessoe of the Stockton South Works of Ashmore, Benson, Pease & Co. will strengthen the com338W petitive position of this group. The Government maintain close contact with the industries concerned to ensure that the pressure vessel manufacturers are given every opportunity to obtain orders both at home and in overseas markets.