§ MR. KEIR HARDIE (Merthyr Tydvil)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty how many obsolete warships have been sold to foreigners and been taken abroad to be broken up; and whether he will arrange to have such ships broken up at home in future, so as to help in providing work for those who are being dismissed from His Majesty's dockyards.
§ MR. PRETYMAN
Out of fifty-six ships recently sold, twenty-two are being, or will be, broken up in the United Kingdom. Ten, which were sold to 371 London merchants, are being, or probably will be, broken up abroad. To impose the condition suggested in the last part of the hon. Member's Question would greatly limit the competition, and, where so many ships have to be disposed of, would have a prejudicial effect on the prices realised. It was recently decided to grant special terms to secure certain ships being broken up in England.