§ Mr. C. BARRIE
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the policy of the Admiralty with regard to the disposal of surplus trawlers and drifters has yet been decided on; and, if so, whether he can give the House any information thereon?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
The question of the best method of disposal of the surplus Admiralty trawlers and drifters has received very careful consideration by the Admiralty in conjunction with the Fishery Boards; and after full consideration of the various proposals the Government has approved the following schemes:
- (1) All surplus Admiralty drifters (about 160) to be turned over adapted for fishing to the Fishery Boards for disposal to individual ex-Service fishermen on terms of deferred payment.
- (2) 200 Trawlers adapted by the Admiralty for fishing, to be handed over to a co-partnership company, which it is proposed to form amongst fishermen who have served in any of His Majesty's Forces during the War.
The shareholders will be responsible for providing the fishing nets and other equipment and the working capital, but they would not be required to purchase the vessels outright from the Government. The Government will take debenture security to cover the value of the vessels, and the company will repay annually a fixed proportion of the capital value together with interest at 5 per cent. per annum. The company will be worked on 294W commercial lines, and will not receive any further Government support, and, except as may be needful to safeguard tae debenture security, the Government will in no way interfere in the affairs of the company. Steps are now being taken to form a board of directors arid management, and the scheme will be advertised and prospectus issued at the earliest possible moment. The remaining surplus trawlers will be sold in the open market either by tender or public auction.