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Small Craft (Dismantling)

Volume 415: debated on Wednesday 31 October 1945

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36.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that the construction and armament is now being completed for his Department of a number of small craft which are then immediately dispatched to another port to be dismantled; and whether he will take steps to stop this waste of public money.

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. A. V. Alexander): I do not know of any small craft now being completed and despatched to another port to be dismantled, but shortly after V.J. Day some motor fishing vessels would have left the builders' works with their armament of an Oerlikon gun and two machine guns in place, and they would be disarmed at their port of destination. These motor fishing vessels in their disarmed condition are being used for various essential services.

Would the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that those who can be released to the fishing industry will be released for that purpose at the earliest possible moment?

We are doing our very best but, with regard to requisitioned drifters and motor fishing vessels, we have released 75 per cent. of those we requisitioned.