§ 24. Captain BOWYER
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether, at the end of the War, the Admiralty offered a number of nearly new steam trawlers for sale by tender to ex-service skippers at prices varying from £17,000 to £18,000; if not, what was the rate at which these ships were offered; was the rate regarded by the Admiralty as a special rate; whether at two Admiralty sales recently the reserve price on the same type of ship was £8,000; and what is the reason for the decrease in the value of steam trawlers?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Colonel Sir James Craig)
The Admiralty did not make any special offer of trawlers to ex-service skippers at the end of the War, and did not fix any prices either at the rates suggested or at any other rate. The Admiralty 764 has sold all such vessels in the open market on a purely commercial basis both by public auction and by tender after public advertisement, and these tenders were not limited to ex-service skippers or any other class. At the public auctions the reserve prices have been fixed at the highest practicable figures consistent with the market conditions prevailing at the time. It is not in the public interest to state the reserve prices fixed for sale of Government vessels, especially as there still remain for sale some vessels of this type. These sales in the open market are, of course, subject to market fluctuations.