§ Mr. Trotter
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will make a statement following the Minister of State's meeting with the oil companies aimed at persuading them to order their new generation of North Sea emergency and fire-fighting ships from British, rather than foreign yards.
§ Mr. Benn
The meeting in Aberdeen on 10th January was part of the Government's continuing discussions with the offshore operators on their plans to ensure 19W adequate safety measures for dealing with fire, blow-outs or other offshore emergencies. This is our first priority. But the Government wish as much as possible of the work involved in meeting these requirements to be placed in British shipyards, which, as is well known, are facing severe and in some respects unfair competition from the Far East.