If the hon. Gentleman refers to the British Ships (Transfer Restriction) Act, he will see that we already have power to prevent ships being transferred to any foreign flag.
§ 51. Mr. PETO
asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the attention of Government has been called to the fact that certain owners of the highest class cargo liners, whose vessels have been employed in the British Transatlantic trade, have recently sold them for transfer to an Allied Power at extravagant prices, thus avoiding risk of requisition by Government and enabling them to secure in capitalised form the present freight rates; and whether he has taken any steps to prevent this further depletion of British mercantile marine?
If the hon. Gentleman makes further inquiries I think he will find that the vessels he has in mind are not being transferred from the British register, and are liable to requisition.
They could not be transferred from the British register to a foreign register without the consent of the Admiralty and the Board of Trade.