HC Deb 11 February 1953 vol 511 cc41-2W
90. Mr. Donnelly

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what instructions have been sent by Her Majesty's Government to commanders of the Royal Naval units in the Far East, in view of the withdrawal of the 7th United States Fleet from Formosa.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

I presume that the hon. Member is referring to the change in orders to the U.S. Seventh Fleet, which is not, of course, being withdrawn from its present station, and that he has in mind the possible danger to British merchant ships which might arise from action by Chinese Nationalist vessels.

It is, of course, always the policy of Her Majesty's Government to take adequate steps to protect British merchant ships on their lawful occasions on the high seas. It is, however, not customary to reveal the operational instructions which may, from time to time, be sent to Her Majesty's ships.