§ 40. Mr. W. THORNE
asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that the 56,000-ton liner "Bismarck," which is about to be named "Majestic," has been sold to the White Star Shipping Company, and that the ship in question is about to be surrendered to Great Britain in accordance with the Treaty arrangements; if he can state what the White Star Company paid for the liner; if he is aware that if a ship of the same tonnage was built in one of the British shipyards it would have found employment for thousands of men; and if he will take action in the matter?
§ Mr. BALDWIN
The statements in the first part of the question are correct. The total amount realised by the sale of ex-German ships has been published, but it is not desirable to state the prices paid for individual ships. It is most unsafe to assume that if this ship had not been delivered to Great Britain under the Peace Treaty a vessel of this character would have been laid down here.
§ Mr. THORNE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that as a consequence of the very large amount of tonnage taken from Germany under the Peace Treaty, thousands of our ship-building workers have been deprived of employment?
§ Sir W. RAEBURN
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that no sane ship-owner would place an order for such a vessel under present circumstances and at present prices; and, further, is it not the case that this vessel is giving employment to a vast number of sea-faring men who would otherwise probably be out of employment?