§ Dr. Palmer
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the availability of Shipbuilding Intervention Fund grants for 1999. 
§ Mr. Battle
I have decided to extend the Shipbuilding Intervention Fund for currently eligible yards until 31 December 1999. The rates of support will be unchanged from those in 1998, namely 9 per cent. for large ships and 4½ per cent. for small ships, both rates inclusive of Shipbuilders' Relief of 2 per cent. These are the maximum rates permitted within the EU' s Shipbuilding Regulation.