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Hms "Ajax"

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 6 April 1949

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8.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will make a statement with regard to the future of H.M.S. "Ajax."

10.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether any decision has yet been taken with regard to the projected sale of the "Ajax" to Chile.

His Majesty's Government have given this matter the most careful consideration. They are conscious of the very cordial relations which have existed between the British and Chilean Navies over a long period. Nevertheless, they have decided that this ship, which has played such a historic role in British Naval history, should not be sold to any foreign Power. As, however, the Navy has no further use for her she will, of course, have to be scrapped.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware how gratified the country will be at the decision that this historic ship should not be sold to a country at the moment in possession of British territory?

Instead of scrapping this ship, which rendered such illustrious service during the war, would it not be possible to turn her over to one of the Dominions, who might make very good use of her, so that she would still fly an Empire flag?

That is another Question, which should obviously be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations.