HC Deb 23 July 1969 vol 787 cc1714-5
27. Mr. Longden

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a further statement on the plans Cunard 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.