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Royal Navy (Transferred Ships)

Volume 437: debated on Monday 5 May 1947

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty how many ships of the R.N. have been disposed of to the Dominions and to foreign powers, respectively, since the end of the war against Japan; how much has been paid or will be paid in respect of these sales; and what strategic considerations are taken into account before such a transfer is completed.

282 of the ships of the Royal Navy have been transferred to Dominion and Foreign Governments since the cessation of hostilities with Japan. For full details of these ships, I would refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my noble friend the First Lord in another place on 29th January, 1947. I am sending the hon. Member an up-to-date extract from this statement, including two H.D.M.Ls. sold to Portugal since that date.The ships described in that statement as transferred between 1944 and 1946 were all transferred after the surrender of Japan with the following exceptions:

  • "Ontario" (to Canada).
  • "Natal" (to South Africa).
  • "Transvaal" (to South Africa).
  • 1 Flower Class Corvette (to India).
  • 13 M.Ls. (to France).
  • 15 M.Ls. (to France).
  • "Vengeful" (to Greece).
  • 2 Flower Class Corvettes (to Greece).
  • "Upstart" (to Greece).
  • "Untiring" (to Greece).
  • 11 H.D.M.Ls. (to Greece).
  • 1 Drifter (to Greece).
  • P.47 (to Netherlands).
  • 6 H.D.M.Ls. (to Netherlands).
  • 3 Bangor Class Minesweepers (to Norway).
  • 1 Flower Class Corvette (to Yugoslavia).

The value of sales since the surrender of Japan amounts to £11,841,333, though not all of this amount has yet been paid over. It is not possible to state with any reliability what further sums may accrue from future sales.

The strategic considerations underlying the transfer of these ships are to help the Dominion Governments in forming and training balanced modern navies, to help our other wartime Allies in restoring the naval losses they suffered during the war, and to strengthen permanently the close wartime relationship between them and the Royal Navy.