HL Deb 09 February 1983 vol 438 c1318WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in the light of the lessons learned in the course of taking 45 merchant ships "from trade" for the Falklands campaign, they will now set out the advantages and disadvantages of maintaining open registries (otherwise known as "flags of convenience").

The Secretary of State for Trade (Lord Cockfield)

: The United Kingdom register is open to foreign-owned as well as to United Kingdom-owned ships, and some foreign registers are open to United Kingdom-owned ships as well as to locally-owned ships.

For the Falklands campaign the rule followed was that only British-owned and British-manned ships should sail to the South Atlantic. The register was not material. No difficulty was experienced in obtaining the ships needed, nor did the existence of open registries have any bearing on the matter.