LAST week I crossed the North Atlantic on Queen Mary 2: Cunard brand, ancestry in Clydebank, part US-owned (Carnival Corporation), built in St Nazaire. Not, unfortunately not, an advertisement for Scotland; other than bottles of whisky in the bars.

Queen Mary 2, and the other current Queens, should have been built at Hunterston with steel from an adjacent plant – a mouth- watering contract with an all-weather ocean liner requiring 40 per cent more steel than a cruise ship of equivalent capacity.

I was reminded of the alleged success of the "work-in" at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in 1971 and 1972: hugely successful in the short term, hugely popular, noses thumbed at the Heath government; but there was linked refusal to move to Hunterston to build large ships demanded by containerisation and to make steel. Thus the inevitable demise of Scottish shipbuilding as a global player.

Three of the four leaders of the work-in were members of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

The Scottish people were gulled, but whether by devious design or by chance is debatable; no matter, the outcome being the same.

When Jimmy Reid, one of the four leaders of the work-in, died in August 2010, he was given Govan's version of a state funeral. The service at Govan Old Parish Church was attended by notable figures including Gordon Brown, Alex Salmond and Sir Alex Ferguson. Alex Salmond, an economist, must have had insight into the long-term consequences of the work-in; but Alex Salmond was not one to miss a media opportunity.

Jimmy Reid's funeral service doubled as a remembrance service for Scottish shipbuilding as it had been. A demise to which he contributed.

William Durward, Bearsden.

YOUR series of articles last week regarding the performance of Calmac and its ship leasing company CMAL ("Scotland's lifeline ferries", Herald Business, June 12, 13 & 14) was most apropos. Whether coincidental or not, many world leaders were paying respects to the combatants involved in the D-Day invasion of Normandy 75 years ago. Lest we forget a million US soldiers were ferried over the Atlantic in assorted ships, including our own John Brown-built Queen Elizabeth. Simultaneously, nearly 3,000 Liberty ships were built Stateside which were used to move stocks of essential supplies to our shores. These Liberty vessels were of a simple unified design with production time starting at 245 days for the first one and culminating in what must stand as a record for all time: one ship built in four days and 15 hours.

This lets me neatly segue back to your series of articles of last week and in particular the demise of the new all-singing and dancing ferries that run on everything and by all accounts hot air. I refer of course to the new Clyde and Hebrides ships both currently still sitting rusting in the water and on the stocks at Ferguson's Yard at Port Glasgow. The Glen Sannox (Hull 801) began production on February 17, 2017 and the hull was named on November 21 that year by the First Minister to tumultuous fanfares. We are now at 850 days and counting and still no operational boat/boats.

This is a sorry state of affairs indeed when you compare the production statistics achieved by the shipyards during the war effort. Who is taking the Liberty now?

Archie Burleigh, Skelmorlie.