HC Deb 22 July 1914 vol 65 c457W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty over how many merchant vessels there is a right of pre-emption or hire as armed cruisers or transports; and for what number of years the amount of £150,000 for this service in Navy Vote 8 will be repeated if existing contracts are carried out?


The Admiralty possess the right of hire or pre-emption by virtue of contracts with the following companies:—

Cunard Steamship Company—over all the company's vessels.

International Mercantile Marine—over all the British vessels in the association.

In addition to the above, the Admiralty possess rights of hire or pre-emption over the vessels employed under Post Office mail contracts with the following companies:—

Pacific Steam Navigation Company.—Service: Liverpool-Callao via Magellan, Panama-Valparaiso.

Royal Mail Steam Packet Company.—Service: Southampton-West Indies; Southampton-Brazil and River Plate.

Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.—Service: Brindisi-Bombay; Brindisi-Shanghai; Brindisi-Adelaide.

Union Castle Mail Steamship Company.—Service: Anglo-South Africa.

Alderney Steam Packet.—Service: Alderney-Guernsey; Alderney-Cherbourg.

Messrs. MacBrayne, Orkney Steam Navigation Company. North of Scotland and Orkney and Shetland Steam Navigation Company. Glasgow and South Western Railway Company (purchase only).—Service: Scottish Steamer Mail Service.

As to the second part of the question, I must refer my hon. Friend to clause 34, Part III., of the Cunard agreement which was presented to Parliament in 1903.