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Volume 974: debated on Monday 26 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on his latest discussions with his EEC colleagues on proposals for a scrap-and-build plan for shipbuilding.

At the Council of Ministers on 20 November I strongly supported a scrap-and-build scheme, provided that it was cost-effective and the benefits commensurate with the financial contributions by member States. I also urged that a scheme should be introduced as soon as possible. I am disappointed that the Council was not in a position to take a decision. I understand that the Commission will now prepare further proposals in the light of the Council discussion in an attempt to find an acceptable and workable scheme.