HC Deb 21 October 1971 vol 823 c870
3. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of State for Defence how many tankers the Beira Patrol has now stopped; and how many tankers this patrol has observed proceeding in the direction of Lourenço Marques.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Royal Navy (Mr. Peter Kirk)

About 50 tankers have been stopped. The patrol is not required to report the movements of ships unless they are believed to be carrying to Beira oil destined for Southern Rhodesia.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

As it is well know that the main effect of the control has been simply to divert oil traffic from Beira to Lourenço Marques, has my hon. Friend at least had a hearty vote of thanks from the municipality of Lourenço Marques?

Mr. Kirk

No, Sir. I do not know the Mayor of Lourenço Marques. The Ministry is concerned with stopping the movement of oil to Beira.

Mr. George Thomson

How does the hon. Gentleman explain to the Royal Navy, which is his responsibility, the constant attempts to lower the morale of the sailors, who are doing a difficult job with great efficiency and professional success?

Mr. Kirk

The Royal Navy is well aware that there are differing views in this House.

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