§ Major COLFOX
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what was the cost in fuel 291W and otherwise of bringing motor launches home frome the Rhine; what these motor launches were worth when they arrived in England; how much the country has lost by bringing them home rather than selling them or destroying them where they were when no longer needed: and how many of these launches have been brought home?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The cost in fuel in bringing a motor launch home from the Rhine was about £30, but this is counterbalanced by the saving of the fares of the crew. Wherever possible the motor launches are sold where they lie, and this has been done in the Mediterranean and elsewhere, but there is apparently no market for them on the Rhine. The saleable value of the launches was in no way diminished by their being brought home. No loss has therefore been incurred by this action, and some money will eventually be realised by their sale. Five motor launches have already been brought home. All boats now at home and surplus to requirements are on sale. Some 100 boats have been sold, including a number sold abroad, and arrangements for the disposal of the remainder are proceeding actively. With regard to the value of the boats, the Admiralty is not, for reasons which will be appreciated, in a position at present to answer this part of the question.