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Volume 927: debated on Wednesday 2 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in view of the new Government policy providing additional finance to stimulate and assist fresh orders for the shipbuilding industry and of the Government undertakings in respect of Harland and Wolff of Belfast, how he expects that firm will benefit from the policy; and on what scale.

As the right hon. Gentleman is aware, Harland and Wolff already has a Government commitment for £60 million between 1975 and 1979. As to my hon. Friend's announcement on 24th February, the close links that have developed between Departments in Whitehall and in Belfast and between the organising Committee for British Shipbuilders and Harland and Wolff will ensure that Harland's has the opportunity to compete equally with other United Kingdom firms for new orders. Like the other United Kingdom firms, Harland's will be eligible to receive financial help, tailored to the requirements of each prospective order and designed to secure maximum benefit at least cost.