HC Deb 10 December 1941 vol 376 cc1519-20
43. Mr. McNeil

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that many master mariners fearing dismissal because of keeping an untidy ship and for asking for additional crew, sail in convoys with their guns uncovered and without gun-watches; and what steps he intends to take?

Sir V. Warrender

Very few reports of this nature have been received and there is every indication that the armament of merchant ships is normally kept at instant readiness. Shipowners have been requested to instruct their masters that the defensive organisation must have prior claim over all but essential ship's work. No further instructions are considered necessary, but if my hon. Friend will give me details of any particular cases which have come to his notice, I will have them investigated.

Mr. McNeil

Did the Department take action in regard to the specific cases about which they were informed?

Sir V. Warrender

Every case which is brought to our notice has to be investigated.