HC Deb 01 July 1959 vol 608 cc445-6
17. Mr. Gower

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty why, in view of the fact that numbers of Her Majesty's ships visited all the South Wales ports during the summer of 1958, only the port of Barry has been omitted from the South Wales ports to be visited in 1959; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

The demand from numerous home ports for visits by Her Majesty's ships unfortunately cannot always be satisfied and our aim is to provide a fair share of visits over the country as a whole.

Of the South Wales ports, we had to omit Tenby last year and Barry this year. Barry was omitted from the programme of visits planned for this year because the port has been visited every year since 1953 and, in fact, three separate visits were paid last year.

Mr. Gower

In future when arranging visits will my hon. Friend take account of the fact that in each of the last ten years the town, the council and people of Barry have made very special arrangements for visits of Her Majesty's ships and for the entertainment of their companies? On each occasion they have organised a special marine festival. Does my hon. Friend agree that this probably has been something more than has been arranged in many other places?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

All I would say is that I know our ships' companies have very much enjoyed visits to Barry and, should extra ships become available, we shall see whether Barry can be included.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind that Barry, Cardiff and other South Wales ports need not just an occasional visit but a resumption of the part those ports played in the shipping of this country before the war?

Mr. G. Thomas

While in no way trying to compete with the parochial interests of the hon. Member who represents my neighbouring constituency of Barry (Mr. Gower), may I ask if the hon. Gentleman will bear in mind that Barry is quite unable to offer what the City of Cardiff offers?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I am very glad to find the hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) supporting the principle of competition in entertaining ships' companies.

Forward to