HC Deb 02 November 1955 vol 545 cc1001-2
9. Mr. Bence

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty why the Royal Yacht "Britannia" is undergoing a refit; and what the total cost of refits has been to date.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

The Royal Yacht "Britannia" is now in hand for her normal annual refit. The total cost of previous refits was £109,198.

Mr. Bence

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that the periodical necessity for the refitting and overhaul of this ship is not due to quality of the ship when launched and when she left the Clyde, but is mainly due to the workers in Portsmouth messing about with this ship, and will not the right hon. Gentleman send her back to the Clyde?

Mr. Thomas

It is not a question of the workers messing about with the ship at Portsmouth. These are the usual teething troubles of a new ship.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Can the right hon. Gentleman state the main items comprising the £109,000?

Mr. Thomas

I cannot give details without notice.

Air Commodore Harvey

Is it not the fact that the construction of this ship was authorised by the Labour Government and, instead of all this talk, would it not be a good thing to leave it alone, because we are all very proud of it?

Mr. Thomas

It is perfectly true that it was authorised by the Labour Government. I think the "Britannia" is an extremely good ship, and I should like to congratulate the constituents of the hon. Member for Dunbartonshire, East (Mr. Bence) on the work they put into it.