26 DECEMBER 1931, Page 2

Cunarder 534 There is no slackening of public interest in

the suspended Cunarder. Indeed, the longer the derelict hull stands, untouched on the stocks the deeper the tragedy of the whole thing is driven into the public mind. But the problems raised do not grow simpler with examination. The News-Chronicle, taking what the Americans call a straw vote of Members of Parliament, has found 168 to support and only 15 to oppose " the public campaign ". to get the ship completed, and of the 50 classed as doubtful a considerable proportion are favourable with reservations. The real question is whether the Cunard Company itself wants No. 534 finished. If it does, and is prepared to put her into service when ready, then the case for assisting the company to get round the financial difficulty is conclusive. In the present state of the labour market the workers displaced, 8,000 in the yard itself, and three or four times that number in the various trades affected elsewhere, have little. clance of finding other work—if they do it will probably mean displacing some- one else—and it would be far better business all round to keep them employed than to throw them on unemploy- ment pay for six months and on public assistance after it. *