asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sums have been advanced to the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company Limited; and what reorganisation has been effected to enable this yard to carry out its contracts, and to protect public investment in it.
£450,000. I would refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the First Secretary on Thursday, 9th December.
Is not the failure of one of our most modern yards, with £32 million worth of orders in hand, menacing the whole of our shipbuilding industry? Is not this the result of restrictive practices and labour troubles? Ought not the right hon. Gentleman to be considering getting at the root causes of this? If this is not done, the whole future of our shipbuilding industry is at risk.
This is a matter for my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade. The hon. Member seems to be forgetting that there is an extremely high-powered body, under the chairmanship of Lord Geddes, which at the moment is examining these questions, and I have already informed the House that it will be reporting on them within six weeks or two months.