§ Mr. David Howell
asked the Minister of Technology what forms of financial assistance are made available by the Government to the shipbuilding industry; when and under what measures these were instituted; and when, where relevant, they are due to come to an end.
§ Mr. Fowler
The Shipbuilding Industry Act, 1967, as amended by Section 10 of the Industrial Expansion Act, 1968, and by the Shipbuilding Industry Act, 1969, established a Shipbuilding Industry Board and empowered it to make grants not exceeding £20 million and loans not exceeding £32½ million to shipbuilding and main engine undertakings. The Board will be dissolved and its powers lapse at the end of 1970 unless its life is extended by order for up to one year. The Board can also make grants in relief of interest on its loans payable up to the end of 1970. The Act also empowers the Minister, where the Board so recommends, to guarantee commercial loans made to United Kingdom shipowners for financing the purchase of ships in United Kingdom yards subject to a limit of £400 million on the liability outstanding at any one time.