§ Mr. David Young
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish in the Official Report the compensation paid for the requisitioning of ships during the Falklands campaign by the Ministry of Defence and the compensation already paid for loss; and if he will take steps to ensure that no moneys will be paid unless repairs and replacement are carried out in British yards.
§ Mr. Blaker
To date, the Ministry of Defence has paid some £37 million to the owners of requisitioned ships in respect of the use and running costs of their vessels; it is too early to estimate what the final total amount of compensation is likely to be. We are obliged to pay the cost of repairs wherever the work is done. We expect the work to be carried out in the United Kingdom as far as is possible.
Only one ship taken up from trade was lost during recent operations in the South Atlantic. Compensation in respect of the loss of this ship is a matter for the department of Trade. However, the Ministry of Defence is making available funding to support the construction of a replacement given the potential role of this ship as a reserve defence asset.