HC Deb 31 July 1946 vol 426 cc205-6W
122. Mr. Sorensen

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many ships of the Royal Navy for which we have no further use have recently been or are about to be sold or transferred to Denmark or to other states; whether it is the general policy of His Majesty's Government to dispose of obsolete ships in this manner; and if he will consider converting these ships to commercial or recreational purposes.

Mr. Dugdale

Since VJ-Day, two aircraft carriers, 10 destroyers, three escort destroyers, two frigates, 12 corvettes, nine submarines, 18 minesweepers, 20 motor minesweepers, 18 coastal craft, 50 landing craft, and two boom defence vessels have been transferred from the Royal Navy to foreign Governments; these figures exclude warships on loan to the Allies during the war which have been acquired permanently since the war. Negotiations are in progress for the transfer of cruisers, submarines, frigates, sloops, and smaller craft, but I am not in a position to give details at present. Two frigates and one corvette have been sold to the Danish Government.

None of the above ships is obsolete, but His Majesty's Government have decided that they are surplus to requirements. Only comparatively few typos of warship, e.g., minesweepers, corvettes, and landing craft, are adaptable for other than warlike purposes. Numbers of these craft have been sold to private buyers both in this country and abroad for conversion. In no case, as far as I am aware, has there been any conflict between requirements for these ships for civilian use and for sale to foreign Governments as warships.