§ 36. Mr. Rankin
asked the Secretary of State for Industry, Trade and Regional Development if he will now extend credits beyond five years to the state trading countries, in cases of large capital projects and shipbuilding.
§ Mr. du Cann
The Export Credits Guarantee Department already has authority to support credit beyond five years where appropriate for such business.
§ Mr. Rankin
The hon. Gentleman has failed to answer sufficiently the part of the question dealing with shipbuilding. Is not he aware that the £75 million scheme, or £80 million scheme, for the ship owners is widely regarded as an attempt to rationalise the shipbuilding industry within the relatively short period of two years? Does he realise that that will hit Scotland very hard because jobs are few there, and average unemployment is over 100,000? Is he aware that the growth plan in central Scotland will not be speeded up sufficiently to overcome the decay in the shipbuilding industry?
§ Mr. du Cann
I am sorry to disappoint the hon. Gentleman, but if he will read his Question again and then read the Answer which I have given he will see that I have done my best to answer his Question exactly. The point about the shipbuilding credit scheme is entirely different and does not come under the auspices of E.C.G.D. business. I am satisfied that the general terms and conditions under which credit and national guarantees can be given are of the greatest assistance to the industry he mentioned.