§ 27. Mr. Longden
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a further statement on the plans Cunard 1715 has for the disposal and future use of s.s. "Queen Elizabeth I".
§ Mr. William Rodgers
Cunard has recently announced the sale of the ship to United States interests for nearly £3.6 million. The purchasers have said that the ship is to be converted to a resort and convention centre in Florida.
§ Mr. Longden
Did the hon. Gentleman ascertain why Cunard would not give an option to inspect to prospective purchasers, including the Anglo-Australian consortium, whose purchase of the ship would have provided much employment for British seamen and would have assisted the balance of payments and emigration to Australia?
§ Mr. Rodgers
I am not aware that Cunard behaved in that way, nor why it did, if it did. This was a commercial transaction, and Cunard accepted the best price it could get.