Royal Yacht "Britannia"

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd November 1955.

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Photo of Mr Cyril Bence Mr Cyril Bence , Dunbartonshire East 12:00 am, 2nd November 1955

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty why the Royal Yacht "Britannia" is undergoing a refit; and what the total cost of refits has been to date.

Photo of Mr James Thomas Mr James Thomas , Hereford

The Royal Yacht "Britannia" is now in hand for her normal annual refit. The total cost of previous refits was £109,198.

Photo of Mr Cyril Bence Mr Cyril Bence , Dunbartonshire East

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that the periodical necessity for the refitting and overhaul of this ship is not due to quality of the ship when launched and when she left the Clyde, but is mainly due to the workers in Portsmouth messing about with this ship, and will not the right hon. Gentleman send her back to the Clyde?

Photo of Mr James Thomas Mr James Thomas , Hereford

It is not a question of the workers messing about with the ship at Portsmouth. These are the usual teething troubles of a new ship.

Photo of Mr Anthony Greenwood Mr Anthony Greenwood , Rossendale

Can the right hon. Gentleman state the main items comprising the £109,000?

Photo of Mr James Thomas Mr James Thomas , Hereford

I cannot give details without notice.

Air Commodore Harvey:

Is it not the fact that the construction of this ship was authorised by the Labour Government and, instead of all this talk, would it not be a good thing to leave it alone, because we are all very proud of it?

Photo of Mr James Thomas Mr James Thomas , Hereford

It is perfectly true that it was authorised by the Labour Government. I think the "Britannia" is an extremely good ship, and I should like to congratulate the constituents of the hon. Member for Dunbartonshire, East (Mr. Bence) on the work they put into it.