§ 82. Major Sir B. FALLE
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he is aware that His Majesty's Ship "Thunderer" is a Portsmouth ship, Portsmouth officers and ship's company, and that her refit in her home dockyard is looked forward to by all; if he can give any reason for refitting this ship elsewhere; if he is aware that in such event every officer and member of the ship's complement must pay two railway fares and lose a certain amount of leave, and that even the watch on board must suffer?
§ Mr. AMERY
The forthcoming refitting arrangements make it necessary that a capital ship not manned from Devonport should be refitted at that port. It is fully realised by the Admiralty that a certain amount of hardship will be caused to the crew of the ship selected, but no other course is possible. H.M.S. "Thunderer" was chosen as her crew is the smallest of the capital ships which have to refit next month, being only 687 as against the 1,236, for instance, of H.M.S. "Malaya." The hardship is thus being confined to as few ratings as possible, and in any case is very small compared with that of crews of Atlantic Fleet ships which have refitted at Rosyth during leave seasons, this necessitating a much heavier railway fare.
§ Sir B. FALLE
Does that answer mean that red tape is going to be allowed to inflict this hardship on the ship's complement at a time when there are not sufficient men in the Portsmouth Dockyard?