HC Deb 28 November 1945 vol 416 cc1310-1
38. Major Sir Basil Neven-Spence

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that many fishermen are anxious to acquire motor fishing vessels from his Department; whether any vessels are now available; and whether they are to be sold direct by his Department or under arrangements made with the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Mr. Alexander

The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes, Sir." The information sought in the second part of the Question is contained in the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Orpington (Sir W. Smithers) on 14th November. With regard to the third part of the Question, any vessels which may become surplus at home will be sold by the Admiralty, but only after consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Scottish Home Departments.

Earl Winterton

Will any sale be on a basis that a fair chance will be given to the smaller fishing fleets of the South coast?

Mr. Alexander

There is nothing to prevent them bidding, but I think we should take the highest bid, whoever makes it. There will be great variety and different sizes —45 feet, 60 feet, 70 feet and 90 feet boats —but I do not think they will be shut out.

74. Commander Douglas Marshall

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will consider giving fishermen the first refusal of any Admiralty vessels of possible use to them whenever it is decided that these vessels are for disposal.

Mr. Alexander

All Admiralty surplus fishing vessels will be offered for sale in the first place to fishermen.

75. Commander D. Marshall

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will en sure that any Admiralty vessels offered for sale to fishermen are priced at the lowest possible level.

Mr. Alexander

The intention is to negotiate prices on the principle laid down in the White Paper on disposals, that is, prices fair and reasonable in relation to the current prices of similar craft.

Commander Marshall

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind, when these prices are fixed, that these fishermen form the backbone of the Royal Navy, and will he keep the prices, in view of this fact,' as low as possible?

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Will the Minister give priority to ex-members of the Royal Navy?