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Boat Building (Timber Allocation)

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 7 May 1947

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he is aware that the building of boats required urgently by his Department is being held up by the inability of boat-builders to obtain the necessary timber; and if he is giving priority to these builders within the total amount of timber allocated to his Department.

I understand that my hon. Friend has in mind the case of one particular boat builder, who is engaged on work for the Admiralty. Inquiries are being made, and I will write to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.

Has my hon. Friend observed that the second part of my Question is much more general; will he answer it, and show that he is aware of the very serious situation in this industry?

I can assure my hon. Friend that I am aware of the serious situation in the boat building industry, but that is not a matter which is entirely within the province of the Admiralty, as we depend on allocations of raw materials from other Departments.

Will the Civil Lord bear in mind that what the hon. Member is suggesting would mean considerable unemployment in many boat building centres at the present time, where boats are being built not only for use in this country, but for export?

Is my hon. Friend aware that I was merely suggesting a proper grading of priorities as between different kinds of boats produced?

Will the Civil Lord confirm or deny that there is a shortage of boats in His Majesty's Navy at the present moment?

Will the Civil Lord go into the question of whether the small boat builders are getting a fair proportion of the work available?

The small boat builders engaged in building commercial craft and fishing vessels are definitely getting a fair share of the allocation.