asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that routine painting of His Majesty's ships by the crews is continued up to the last moment before a ship is docked for refitting and repainting; and whether he will give instructions that unnecessary painting of this kind should not be carried on up to the last moment, in view of the waste of scarce material thereby occasioned?
It is the usual practice for ships' companies to paint and red lead their ships during refits. In wartime, ships are in harbour for such a short time that every opportunity for red leading and painting rusted structures must be seized. No doubt the painting referred to by my hon. Friend was done to save work during the docking period and spare the ship's company for leave. I cannot agree that such work is wasteful.