HC Deb 04 March 1964 vol 690 cc1277-9
3. Mr. Whigfield Digby

asked the Civil Lord of the Admiralty which of Her Majesty's ships, by class, were disposed of by sale commercially in 1963–64.

Mr. Hay

Twenty-nine to date. This number is made up of one destroyer, four frigates four ocean minesweepers, five fast patrol boats, four submarines, six boom defence vessels, two trawlers, one ocean tug and two mooring vessels.

With permission I will publish the list of these ships in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Digby

Before authorising further sales, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the importance of maintaining the size of the conventional fleet, particularly in view of the fact that it is now Opposition policy to offer it unsolicited and place it at the disposal of the United Nations?

Mr. Hay

As I said during the debate on the Navy Estimates, it is our intention to see that the size of the conventional fleet is commensurate with our responsibilities. Of course, I cannot guarantee what the position would be in future, but I do not regard the suggestion try hon. Friend the Member for Dorset, West (Mr. Wingfield Digby) mentioned with any more favour than, I should think, the Navy does.

Mr. Shinwell

Does not the Civil Lord understand that nobody has made any such suggestion that we should hand over the Navy either to the United Nations or to any other Government? Will he bear in mind that the Government have assigned or intend to assign the V-bombers to N.A.T.O. and that there are 55,000 British troops in Europe under the command of a German general? A Labour Government—as indeed, would any other Government—would retain absolute control over the Navy.

Mr. Hay

I certainly take note of what the right hon. Gentleman says and I am sure that we will all welcome the return of the Leader of the Opposition so that we can put a few pertinent questions to him.

The following is the information:

H.M. Ships disposed of by sale commercially as "runners" in 1963–64:

3 Fast Patrol Boats—H.M. Ships "Gay Carabineer", "Gay Bombadier", "Gay Cavalier".

3 Boom Defence Vessels—H.M. Ships "Barsound", "Bardolf", "Barrier".
1 Mooring Vessel—H.M.S. "Moorfly".

H.M. Ships disposed of by sale commercially for "scrap" in 1963–64:

1 Destroyer—H. M.S. "Childers".
4 Frigates—H.M. Ships "Loch More", Loch Tralaig", "Tompazis", "Loch Craggie".
4 Ocean Minesweepers—H.M. Ships "Cockatrice", "Tanganyika", "Alba-core", "Cheerful".
2 Trawlers—H.M. Ships "Rosaline", "Tahay".
3 Boom Defence Vessels—H.M. Ships "Barrhead", "Barkis", "Barbette".
1 Mooring Vessel—H.M.S. "Moorgrieve".
2 Fast Patrol Boats—H.M. Ships "Gay Archer", "Gay Bowman".
4 Submarines—H.M. Submarines "Spiteful", "Tudor", "Tactician", "Trenchant".
1 Ocean Tug—H.M.T. "Enforcer".