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Hospital Ship "Maine"

Volume 478: debated on Wednesday 18 October 1950

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will make a statement on the inadequacy and unsuitability of His Majesty's Hospital Ship "Maine" for service in Far Eastern waters, and in particular about the lack of air-conditioning or adequate ventilation.

After the war it was necessary to replace the old hospital ship "Maine" which was then 45 years old, and the s.s. "Empire Clyde" was taken over, converted into a hospital ship, and renamed His Majesty's Hospital Ship "Maine." She is a temporary replacement and was fitted out to do no more than meet the normal peace-time needs of the Royal Navy, namely, to accompany a fleet on cruises. For this she is adequately and suitably equipped. Air-conditioning is fitted in the operating theatre, in one of the wards and in some of the accommodation. Ventilation is adequate in the rest of the ship, except on E deck, which is fitted with ventilation of the punka louvre type. The wards on this deck were not intended for patients confined to bed.During the early stages of hostilities in Korea, His Majesty's Hospital Ship "Maine" was the only hospital ship in the area under the control of the United Nations and she was continuously employed in transporting wounded, mainly American, from Korea to Japan. She is due in the near future to proceed to Hong Kong for refit and a well-earned respite from her arduous duties.