HC Deb 03 April 1963 vol 675 cc434-5
19. Mr. Milne

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty if he will make a statement on the methods of disposing of obsolescent ships and boats.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to ex-R.N. whalers, or similar boats, surplus to the Navy's need.

As the hon. Member is aware, they are first offered to the Combined Cadet Force and to the Sea Cadet Corps because the Admiralty accepts a responsibility for providing them with naval training equipment and they are a valuable source of recruitment to the Royal Navy. Any left over are offered first to the Sea Scouts and then to the Ministry of Education for allocation to schools.

Mr. Milne

Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the grave disquiet felt in many parts of the country about the method of his Department's allocation of these ships and boats and the manner in which they are allowed to lie around in certain places and depots when they could be of immense value to many educational organisations? Will he look into this matter more closely than he has done in the past?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

We certainly want to make use of any available boats. If the hon. Member will draw my attention to those he has in mind, I will have the matter examined carefully and sympathetically.