HC Deb 31 January 1939 vol 343 c11
12. Sir George Mitcheson

asked the President of the Board of Trade the number and tonnage of British shipping broken up during 1938; and an estimate of the annual cost for interest and maintenance for keeping such a tonnage of shipping as a war-time reserve?

Mr. Stanley

The records of the Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen regarding vessels on the United Kingdom register of 100 tons gross and over, show that 98 such vessels of a total tonnage of about 180,000 gross tons were disposed of for breaking up during 1938. My hon. Friend will appreciate that a proportion of these might not have been suitable for the purpose suggested, and in the absence of information on this point I do not feel able to offer an estimate such as is asked for in the second part of the question.