HC Deb 24 January 1940 vol 356 cc564-5
30. Mr. Shinwell

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether: as a result of the sinking of the Steamship "Dunbar Castle," the arrangements for vessels joining convoys will be so tightened up as to ensure the minimum of risk, by shortening the preliminary and unprotected journeys which such vessels have to make before establishing contact with the convoys?

Captain Hudson

The Admiralty have the convoy system and its attendant arrangements continually under review and minor adjustments and improvements are constantly being effected. The point made by the hon. Member is fully appreciated.

Mr. Shinwell

Whilst I have no desire to emphasise the loss of the "Dunbar Castle" in public, does the hon. Gentleman appreciate that many vessels have to proceed long distances on preliminary voyages of seven hours' duration unconvoyed, and is he aware that considerable danger accrues in consequence of the absence of convoy? Will attention be given to the matter?

Captain Hudson

This is one of the matters now under review.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Is not this the direct result of the reduction of our naval forces, which does not give the Admiralty sufficient vessels at their disposal for the protection of these ships?

Forward to