asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs if he will make a further statement on the future of Fairfield shipbuilding yard and the prospects for those employed in it.
My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced to the House on 4th November the first step by the Government to try to save Fairfields yard from the very serious position into which it had been allowed to fall by the previous private owners.Since then the Government have been trying to establish the yard on a permanent basis. We have had consultations and negotiations with a number of groups. Despite the failure of some of these negotiations we have pressed on. Indeed, because I am still actively engaged in negotiations it would not help if I made a statement today.May I add that those who have charged the Government with indecision and delay should realise that the only decision which could have been taken promptly and effectively would have been to close the yard.It is because we have tried, and are still trying so hard to keep it going, that I hope to be able to make a statement tomorrow.