HC Deb 10 March 1959 vol 601 cc1054-5
34. Mr. Hoyle

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies for what purpose the anti-submarine frigate, H.M.S. "Ulster", put into St. George's Bay, Grenada, West Indies, early in February.

Mr. J. Amery

I would invite the attention of the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for The Hartlepools (Mr. D. Jones) on 24th February.

Mr. Royle

I have seen that Answer. It is quite unsatisfactory. Will the hon. Gentleman say, in the first place, whether the Federation Government were consulted about this matter? Secondly, would he care to express an opinion on whether it is a good way to preserve good will in the Colonies to send a frigate the moment there is a sign of the least possible industrial unrest? Or did the frigate go there to fill up with rum?

Mr. Amery

The hon. Gentleman said that he had seen my answer. If he had read it carefully he would have seen that the frigate did not go because of an industrial unrest but in case there was a breakdown of essential services.

Mr. Royle


Mr. Amery

It is all very well for the hon. Member to shrug his shoulders. He only displays his ignorance in so doing. There were no alternative technicians available in the island.

Mr. D. Jones

Does the hon. Gentleman not agree that the presence of a frigate was requested by the Governor and that at the moment that the frigate arrived close to shore in St. George's Bay delicate industrial negotiations were going on? Is this kind of gunboat diplomacy likely to help in that?

Mr. Amery

The frigate was not invited because of industrial unrest but because of a danger of a breakdown of services. There happened to be a shortage of technicians in the island.

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