HC Deb 24 March 1948 vol 448 cc2985-6
2. Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he can give an assurance that all ships of the Royal Navy are provided with equipment and accommodation for washing the clothes of the crew; what arrangements are made for the additional amount of washing needed in ships stationed in hot climates; and what special arrangements are made to assist the washing for small ships where the installation of special equipment is difficult or impracticable.

Mr. Dugdale

It has for some time been the practice to fit power laundries in cruisers and larger ships. This is being done as ships come in for refit. It was decided last year to extend this policy to cover smaller ships, and these are being fitted with domestic washing machines and drying cabinets where space, weight and other considerations permit. Parent and depot ships are fitted with laundries capable of providing a limited service for the small ships attached to them. In the present manpower situation it is not always possible for these to be fully manned, but some ships on foreign stations employ native labour to ease this problem. Otherwise, no special arrangements are made in ships in tropical climates, the limiting factor already being space and weight.

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

What happens in the case of a small ship in a tropical climate when there are no facilities on board?

Mr. Dugdale

Obviously, the clothes have to be washed as best they can.

Sir Ronald Ross

Can officers have their clothes washed, as well as ratings, or is it confined to ratings?

Mr. Dugdale

Certainly, officers' clothes are washed as well as those of ratings.

Lieut.-Commander Clark Hutchison

Will the Parliamentary Secretary take care that the expensive laundry equipment fitted to some of the big ships in America—I am thinking of ships like the "Nelson"—is taken out and preserved when they are scrapped?

Mr. Dugdale

Certainly. We will see that everything possible is used.