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Shipbuilding And Ship-Repairing Contracts, Aberdeen

Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 10 May 1961

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19.

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty how many Admiralty shipbuilding and ship-repairing contracts have been allocated to Aberdeen during the last twelve months.

It is the policy to place orders for new ships and craft as far as possible by competitive tender. As to contracts for repairs, the majority of naval repair work is undertaken in the Royal Dockyards. Aberdeen firms have not so far won any of the competitive tenders. No Admiralty shipbuilding and ship-repair contracts have been placed in Aberdeen in the last twelve months.

The hon. Gentleman has not given any figures. Is he aware that Aberdeen gets a very small proportion of the orders from the Admiralty—quite disproportionate to the amount of skill, the good shipyards and excellent workers and the unemployment in Aberdeen? Will he try to remedy that situation?

Yes, but it so happens that the shipbuilding firms in Aberdeen are not suitable for building frigates, or submarines, or the large tankers for which we have placed orders in the last year. I am aware of the problems, but the hon. and learned Member will agree with me that it is not just Aberdeen which is suffering from these difficulties.