HC Deb 26 February 1964 vol 690 cc422-3
33. Mr. Bence

asked the Postmaster-General how many cable-laying ships are in service with the Post Office; and in which year each entered into service.

Mr. Mawby

Four, commissioned respectively in 1939, 1940, 1946 and 1961.

Mr. Bence

Is it not time that at least two more cable ships were built? As I understand it, there is a considerable demand for these ships and even the oldest ones are still excellent ships. Is not there a good deal of cable laying which can be done in the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic coast where these ships could perform a very useful function and earn foreign currency for the Post Office?

Mr. Mawby

The question of replacement is under serious review at present. It is important to remember also that Cable & Wireless, Ltd., has a number of cable ships and we work in very close co-operation with one another.