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Shipbuilding And Ship Repairing

Volume 895: debated on Monday 7 July 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what further representations he has had regarding the nationalisation of the shipbuilding and ship remairing and marine engineering industries; and if he will make a statement.

Since publication of the discussion paper in July 1974 my Department has received representations from many interested parties. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already announced the Government's decision to proceed with the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Bill at the very earliest opportunity in the next Session.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what plans he has other than nationalisation to assist the shipbuilding industry.

The industry will continue to benefit from the existing forms of assistance.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will make a statement on the prospects of the British shipbuilding industry in the light of international conditions.

There is every sign that the world shipbuilding market is entering a period of severe recession. Although most of our shipyards have orders in hand that assure them of work for the next year or so it would be over-optimistic to expect that the recession will not affect the British shipbuilding industry. My right hon. Friend hopes very soon to begin talks with both sides of the industry about the situation it faces. In the longer term it is one of the objects of nationalisation to improve the competitiveness of the industry and ensure its future prospects.