HC Deb 16 March 1955 vol 538 cc1274-5
14. Captain Ryder

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is aware that yachts in the Mediterranean which are owned and manned by foreigners are flying the British flag; and what action the Government are taking to stop this abuse.

Mr. Digby

I have grounds for believing that some yachts in the Mediterranean do fly British ensigns to which they are not entitled. The ships of the Mediterranean Fleet are always on the alert to prevent these abuses but, as my hon. and gallant Friend will realise, it is not easy to catch the offenders.

Captain Ryder

In addition to those which might be detained for illegal activities, will my hon. Friend bear in mind that there are others which by the simple legal process of forming a small company in this country, with a very small nominal capital and an even smaller paid-up capital, can legally fly the British flag? May I call attention to the following vessels in this connection— "Fair Lady," "Halcyon," "Raiatea," "Sinloo," "Sylvia" and "Blue Trout"—and ask whether my hon. Friend will look into the status of these vessels, because reports reaching me suggest that some of them do no credit to our flag?

Mr. Digby

I will certainly look into the cases that my hon. and gallant Friend has raised.

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