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Fleet Dispositions

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 11 May 1949

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what is the latest date as at which he is prepared to disclose the disposition of His Majesty's ships.

As previously explained to the House, it is not in accordance with the policy of His Majesty's Government to disclose the present disposition of the Fleet. The considerations on which this policy is based apply equally to dispositions in the recent past.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that his answer involves an answer to the question: What does he mean by "the recent past"? Is it not a fact that history ends and security begins at the point where His Majesty's Government begin to be embarrassed?

While I am not prepared to try to dispute the hon. Gentleman's attempt at epigram, I would like to inform him that, so far as we are concerned, the recent past means since the end of the war.