HC Deb 16 May 1928 vol 217 cc1013-4
13. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that boats oars supplied for use in His Majesty's ships are manufactured in the United States of America; and why these oars are not made in the Royal Dockyards?


A certain proportion of the boats oars used in the Navy are manufactured from Canadian spruce at Devon-port and Portsmouth Dockyards, but as regards ash oars these are purchased in America as English ash is not available, the supply being unequal to the demand for it for other purposes. It would, of course, not be economical to pay freight from America on a considerable quantity of ash logs which would subsequently be cut to waste in the process of manufacture.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

May I ask if it is necessary for technical reasons to use oars made in the United States?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

It is not a question of the oars being made in the United States, but of the material of which the oars are made, and the particular ash that comes from America has been found by experiments to be suitable for oars for certain purposes.

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that in the golden age of the British Navy there was no United States at all, and how did we get on then?


Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that Ireland supplies an excellent ash?

Lieut.-Colonel HEADLAM

I will certainly make inquiries about Irish ash.

Commander WILLIAMS

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman also aware that there is a far better ash in the West of England which he can get very close to the Devonport Dockyard?