HC Deb 16 December 1953 vol 522 cc378-9
56. Mr. Bence

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what was the cost of equipping the s. s. "Gothic" for the journey to the Antipodes; and the cost of running the ship for Her Majesty's journey, including cost of providing warships on the flight route

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. J. P. L. Thomas)

No final figure has yet been agreed with the contractors for the work recently carried out on the s. s. "Gothic" to make her ready for the Royal tour to Australia, New Zealand and Ceylon. I should, therefore, prefer to await a final settlement before giving any figures. The running costs of the vessel on this tour, together with the extra cost of Her Majesty's ships engaged on flight protection duties, are estimated at £320,000.

Sir J. Lucas

As the Commonwealth have given us over £1,000 million in the last 14 years in money, goods and services, would not the sum mentioned be a very small amount to pay to give the people of the Commonwealth the pleasure of seeing Her Majesty?

Mr. Thomas

I should like to add to what my hon. Friend has said that a contribution of £200,000 to the general costs of the tour has been promised by the Government of Australia.