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Shipbuilding And Ship-Repairing (Orders)

Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 10 May 1961

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asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what proportion of orders by his Department for shipbuilding and ship-repairing, in tonnage and value, have been allocated to Scottish and English shipyards, and in particular to Aberdeen, during the last six months.

Orders for naval new construction during the past six months have been for three new frigates, one submarine, two replenishment-at-sea tankers, two seaward defence boats and various small craft. Roughly 18 per cent. of the orders in tonnage and 36 per cent. in value were placed with Scottish firms. A similar proportion of the ship-repair work, by value, outside the Royal Dockyards, went to Scotland. All the orders were placed as a result of competitive tendering and I regret that none were won by Aberdeen firms.

I thank the Minister for that Answer and regret its last sentence. Is he yet in a position to say who won the tender for the new research ship for the National Institute of Oceanography? In that connection, will he bear in mind that Aberdeen shipyards have built many research ships with great success?

I know that an Aberdeen firm has tendered, but I am not yet in a position to say which firm has been successful with its tender for this vessel.


asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty what plans the Government has for placing additional orders for warships with the shipbuilding industry, following the recommendations of the Report of the Sub-Committee of the Shipbuilding Advisory Committee.

The matter is under urgent consideration. Pending the outcome of this review I am afraid I am not in a position to make a statement.

Would not my hon. Friend agree that this is the best opportunity since the war to build warships quickly and, consequently, economically. Will he ask his right hon. Friend to make further representations about this matter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

It is true that in the present state of the shipbuilding industry we are getting our warships built much more quickly and, through competitive tendering, more cheaply than we have previously. I am sure that my hon. Friend, having been in my office, will understand that only 8 per cent. of all the shipbuilding industry's construction comes from Admiralty orders, so that a solution of its problems cannot come entirely from the Admiralty.