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Volume 940: debated on Monday 28 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what estimate he has made of the profit accruing to the United Kingdom from the scheme for an Anglo-Polish company to own the fleet of 22 ships, to be built under the Anglo-Polish shipping agreement, and charter it to the Polish Steamship Company for 15 years; and if he will make a statement.

The likely profitability of its agreement with the Polish Steamship Company is commercially confidential.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what estimate he has made of the length of employment in each yard to be allocated part of the order that will be provided by the £115 million Anglo-Polish shipping agreement; to how many extra people it will give employment; and what is the cost per head of each job in terms of the subsidy to the Polish purchasers provided by the British Government.

The order has not yet been allocated to particular yards, but it is expected to provide about 8,000 man-years of work in the shipyards.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the size of the subsidy being provided by the British Government to enable Poland to buy 22 ships and two floating cranes from British yards.

I have nothing to add to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Tynemouth (Mr. Trotter) on 21st November.—[Vol. 939, c. 556.]

asked the Secretary of State for Industry when the Government expect to receive the European Council's new directive on shipbuilding aid to replace the directive which expires at the end of the current year; what representations Her Majesty's Government are making about the content of the new directive; and whether he will make a statement on the compatibility of British policy on shipbuilding aid with EEC policy.

The EEC Commission's draft fourth directive on aids to shipbuilding was circulated to member

Advisory Committee on the Census of Production1111
Advisory Committee for the Paper and Board Industry Scheme66
Advisory Council on Calibration and Measurement17116
British Aerospace9211
British Shipbuilders3773
British Steel Corporation3710
Cable and Wireless Ltd.4691
China Clay Council22
Clothing Industry Scheme Advisory Board55
Committee for Industrial Technologies927
Committee of Inquiry into the Engineering Profession‡11
Committee for Materials Handling88
Committee for Terotechnology1313
Corrosion Committee1129

States on 8th November and copies were placed in the Vote Office on 25th November. The draft has yet to be considered by the Council of Ministers. The purpose of the directive is to prevent unfair competition between member States, whilst permitting appropriate aids to deal with the shipbuilding crisis. The Government support this objective, but the detailed provisions of the draft will need careful consideration.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how much of the Shipbuilding Fund had been committed in respect of ships ordered up to 31st October 1977.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the total amount of money so far committed out of the Shipbuilding Intervention Fund on all contracts.

Commitments on 31st October 1977, including commitments conditional on the shipyards finalising contracts in prospect, amounted to £50 million. Since then there has been no change.