asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Shipping Controller why and under what circumstances 110 ships have been sold this year to our Allies and neutrals; whether this policy is now to be discontinued; and if he can state the number of foreigners holding first officer certificates now employed on British ships, and how many British officers similarly qualified are unemployed?
With regard to the first part of the question, I have nothing to add to the reply given to the hon. Member on Wednesday, 13th August. It is not possible at the present moment to1970W state the number of foreigners holding first officer certificates now actually serving on British ships, but an analysis of the identity certificates issued to officers is being made, and it will be possible to supply the detailed figures in the course of a week or two. No complete statistics are available of the exact number of unemployed certificated officers, but in May last a total of 478 certificated officers were registered at the Ministry of Shipping for employment. At the beginning of June 270 names remained on the list, and as a result of continued efforts by the Ministry to secure employment about 150 of these were placed during that month. It is thought that the position of unemployment among certificated officers is steadily improving.