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Volume 395: debated on Wednesday 1 December 1943

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Viscount Hinchingbrooke asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will institute courses for naval officers and/or civilians with experience of dockyard administration, of the type now held by the War Office Civil Affairs directorate, in order that the closest contach may be maintained between the Royal Navy and A.M.G.O.T. and, in view of the great number of naval establishments now in enemy occupation, which will become subject to allied control?

As I explained in reply to my Noble Friend on 10th November, the fact that the territory concerned is under military government does not involve any change in the normal duties of naval officers in ports operated by the Royal Navy. Military administration of civil affairs functions as part of the general organisation of military forces in the field, and the Navy's contacts with the Civil Affairs Branch are made in the same way as with other military contingents. Taking over naval establishments from an enemy Power is no new experience for the Royal Navy, and is provided for in the normal course of operational planning and training. The magnitude of the task confronting the Allied Navies in taking over ports now in enemy occupation is fully appreciated by the Admiralty, and appropriate plans are being made.