HC Deb 07 March 1945 vol 408 cc2009-10
31. Commander Sir Archibald Southby

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether it is the intention of his Depart- ment to retain the administration of the coastguard service after the war.

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

The administration of the coastguard is at present carried on by the Ministry of War Transport, acting as agents for the Admiralty, who assumed control of the force in 1940 under emergency powers provided in the Coastguard Act. The post-war arrangements will be considered as soon as the time is ripe, but I think that at present it would be premature to attempt to reach a final decision.

Sir A. Southby

When the time comes after the war, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the very great benefit which will accrue to the Navy from the retention of the coastguard system, and also the benefit that will flow to the public from the fact that the Navy controls the coastguard service?

Mr. Alexander

I am sure that all the lessons of the war will be taken into account.

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Is my right hon. Friend not aware that the coastguard service under the old organisation, in which Service personnel was employed, was much more efficient than the present organisation, and will he not consider reverting to the old Service coastguard organisation?

Mr. Alexander

I must say that I have been very satisfied with the coastguards during the war.