Mr. FREDERICK HALL
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether any consideration is being given to the possibility of using the dockyards for reconversion of mercantile auxiliaries and other mercantile work in order to provide employment for the men now being discharged; 482W whether any measures of this character are to be adopted; and, if not, will he state the reason why?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
We have now in hand in the Royal Dockyards a number of merchant vessels for reconversion or reconditioning, and, in addition, other merchant ships of various classes are in hand being repaired. We have at present in hand seventeen merchant vessels (including oilers, ferry vessels, etc.) for reconditioning and fifteen for repairs; we have also 100 trawlers and drifters for reconditioning. But whilst we do all we can to find work which may mitigate the hardships of discharges, I regret to say that large reductions in personnel must eventuate.