HC Deb 30 November 1987 vol 123 c380W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he has any evidence of the 28 per cent, ceiling on subsidies for the construction of shipping being breached in other European Economic Community countries.

Mr. Alan Clark

The Commission is responsible for ensuring that member states observe the rules of the European Council sixth directive on aid to shipbuilding which came into force on 1 January 1987. Under Article 4(5) of the Directive, the Commission can be asked to investigate the aid offered by member states in intra-Community competition. More than 20 such investigations have so far taken place. Only in the case of the Brittany Ferries order has the Commission established a breach of the aid ceiling. An Article 93(2) procedure is now in progress against the French authorities.