HC Deb 15 July 1964 vol 698 c230W
56. Commander Kerans

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what were the circumstances that led to a large number of persons wishing to visit H.M.S. "London" at Greenwich being unable to arrive on board owing to lack of water transport; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Hay

When H.M. ships, moored in mid-stream in the Port of London, are open to the public, by tradition they leave the ferrying of visitors to commercial boat operators. Adequate notice was, on this occasion, given to the Port of London Authority, which, I understand, informed the boatmen. Shortly after the opening of the ship on Sunday, 5th July, the commanding officer became aware that large numbers of people were queuing at Greenwich Pier and could not get a boat. He therefore did all he could to help with ship's boats and something like 2,000 people were brought on board. I much regret that, even so, large numbers of people were disappointed and to make up for this and, despite the difficulty of arranging it, the ship was specially opened to the public again on Thursday, 9th July.