HC Deb 29 March 1956 vol 550 cc241-2W
64. Mr. Dodds

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty to whom were the fifty small vessels sold as Government surplus for £101,114; the reasons for the default of the purchaser; what action has been taken to obtain payment or the return of the vessels; and how much these vessels cost.

Mr. Ward

Forty-seven vessels, mostly landing craft lying in a somewhat inaccessible part of Egypt, were sold in 1946 to a British subject who had furnished entirely satisfactory credentials, but stringent conditions of resale were specified. All but some £24,000 of the contract price was received either from the purchaser or, on his bankruptcy, by sale in default, but his debt was increased to £101,114 by interest, towage, berthage rents and other factors. This sum was written off and recorded in the Losses Statement in the Navy Appropriation Account, 1950–51.

The purchaser's failure was primarily due to the difficulty of finding customers acceptable to the Admiralty in the unsettled conditions in the Middle East. It

Mr. Ward

Arrangements have been made for twelve of Her Majesty's ships to pay informal visits to Welsh ports this summer. The particulars are as follows:

was impracticable and uneconomic to recover certain of the vessels for which no payments were received. The original cost of the vessels was about £3,250,000.