§ 13. Dr. Godman
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the employment prospects for Scotland's maritime industries, following the Government's recent announcement on the future of British Shipbuilders.
§ Mr. Allan Stewart
Prospects in Scotland are good provided the yards achieve levels of performance and efficiency which enable them to compete successfully in domestic and international markets.
§ Dr. Godman
Leaving aside for the moment the inexplicable—some would say absurd—decision of the MOD to award the contracts to refit HMS Otter to a yard that has little or no experience of refitting, what is the likelihood in the near future of an order being placed with a Scottish yard for a fisheries protection vessel?
§ Mr. Stewart
The contract for that refit was awarded on a strictly commercial basis and in line with the Government's well-publicised intention to bring competition into warship refitting. There will be a full opportunity for the yards about which the hon. Gentleman is specially concerned to tender and compete for any new orders.