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Volume 979: debated on Thursday 28 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what study his Department has made of the system of subsidy for shipyards operated by the Belgian Government, in the light of the paper "A Profile of British Shipbuilders" by Mr. John Parker, of the board of British Shipbuilders, a copy of which has been supplied to him.

The Belgian authorities have confirmed in respoinse to an official enquiry that no production subsidies are given to the Belgium shipbuilding industry. Aid to their domestic shipowners, through preferential credit,

I regret the information is not available in the form requested.Much of the assistance given to industry by the Government cannot be broken down for individual regions without disproportionate staff time and cost. However, total expenditure in the years specified on the main forms of regional preferential assistance to industry and on national schemes of assistance under section 8 of the Industry Act 1972 is estimated as follows:has been in existence for many years. Under the EEC fourth directive such aid is not regarded as aid to the shipbuilding industry provided it is available on ships built in any EEC yard.