asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what is the principle according to which ships of the Reserve Fleet are selected for refit or for reconstruction, respectively.
Ships for refit take their turn according to the date they were last refitted. As regards reconstruction, priority is at present being given to the conversion of destroyers to escort vessels, although re-equipment of other vessels is also in hand.
Is it not a fact that some of these ships have actually been through somewhat expensive refits only, in the end, to be earmarked for stripping down the upper deck for conversion?
I could not say offhand, but it is certainly the case that practically every major ship in the Navy has been refitted in the last three years, so that it might be possible.
Would the Parliamentary Secretary say whether, in his refitting programme, he is using all the available yard capacity to the maximum?
Yes, Sir, I think that is certainly the case.