asked the Secretary of State for Transport when the inter-departmental study of the defence requirements for merchant shipping in time of hostilities will be complete; and when he intends to report to the House.
Mr. David Mitchell
Later this month I expect to receive the report of the consultants who have been employed to forecast the future availability of merchant ships for the purposes of this joint review. My Department and the Ministry of Defence will then examine the consultants' findings against future defence needs. That examination must be thorough and will inevitably take some time. It would not be appropriate to make any report until it has been completed.
Payments under headings (b)—(e) are not recorded separately and could not be produced except at disproportionate cost. Information available, covering expenditure to date, together with the estimated total cost of each scheme is as follows:—