HC Deb 21 March 1955 vol 538 cc1724-5
22. Mr. Warbey

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that West German shipyards are constructing ships exceeding the permitted size and speed; and what steps the Allied Security Board are taking to prevent them.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Anthony Nutting)

The answer to the first part of the Question is "No," Sir. The second part of the Question therefore does not arise.

Mr. Warbey

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether or not it is a fact that three ships beyond the permitted size and speed were constructed in the Lürssens shipyard; that protests were made, and that eventually the ships were taken over by the Royal Navy? Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether three further ships have now been laid down which also exceed the permitted limits?

Mr. Nutting

No, Sir. The hon. Gentleman is wrong. As regards ships other than those with military features, the Allied High Commission is able under Article II of Regulation No. 7 to keep a check on … the construction or conversion of any ship designed to exceed 100 gross registered tons or 12 knots speed. In both these instances the Allied High Commission has agreed to the ships being constructed. In the case of the first three fast patrol boats which were made, the Royal Navy subsequently arranged to buy them, and in the second case the question of a licence is under consideration and it has not yet been granted.