asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that the drifter "Colonel," which the Admiralty purchased for £4,800, and reconditioned and repaired at a further cost of £2,997, was sold for £750 to a Boston company, who, in turn, found the vessel in such a damaged and unrepaired state that a further sum was spent on repairs prior to a sale at £900; and whether he will consider the desirability of disposing of such vessels as remain in the possession of the Admiralty at the earliest possible moment in order to avoid further expense?
As regards the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to my remarks during the Debate on the Report of the Navy Excess Vote, 1920–21, on 24th March. With regard to the last part of the question, the Admiralty have always been fully alive to the desirability of disposing of all drifters in their hands at the earliest possible moment. Since the Armistice 268 drifters have been disposed of by sale in the open market or by transfer to the Fishery Boards for sale to ex-service fishermen. There now remain for sale only 10 drifters recently returned by the Fishery Boards, and one drifter newly released from naval service.