§ Mr. WATT
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that a war vessel has been built at Barrow for the Turkish Government, that the order has been cancelled, and that various countries are said to be possibly purchasers of this war vessel without any hindrance to such purchase being suggested by His Majesty's Government;' whether he is aware that obsolete and obsolescent war vessels belonging to this country are, by the Regulations of the Admiralty, forbidden to be sold without the Breaking-up Clause to any other Government; and whether he will see that this Admiralty Regulation is abandoned in future in view of the fact that hundreds of thousands of pounds are lost to this country by such Regulation?1031W
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The Prime Minister has asked me to reply to this question. As regards the first part of the question, I have nothing to add to the reply given to the hon. Member for Dulwich on Wednesday last. With regard to the second and third parts of the question, there is no such absolute Regulation as the hon. Member assumes The policy of the Admiralty in that respect is governed by the naval considerations arising in each case and by the state of international relations at the time, and is constantly under review. Admiralty experience shows that under whatever conditions vessels are sold, the opportunities of realising anything more than breaking-up value for obsolete war vessels are few and far between, and the House must not assume that there has been any such loss to public funds as is suggested by the hon. Member.