HC Deb 25 May 1938 vol 336 c1190
23. Mr. Ammon

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has any statement to make concerning the desertion of members of 'the crew of His Majesty's Ship "Dorsetshire" whilst in Australian waters?

Mr. Cooper

His Majesty's Ship "Dorsetshire" was in Australian waters for nearly two months; during this period 19 ratings deserted, of whom 10 deserted during the visit to Sydney for the centenary celebrations. Eight deserters have been recovered. The commanding officer has reported that it is not possible to attribute these desertions to any particular cause.

Mr. Ammon

Has the right hon. Gentleman any reason to think that these desertions are due to any particular cause?

Mr. Cooper

No, Sir. This ship is a perfectly happy ship. Desertions unfortunately are not infrequent in Australia, possibly due to the very hearty welcome that the men receive there.