§ Sir R. Rankin
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether it has been brought to his notice that approximately 900 naval auxiliary and merchant vessels built in the United States of America in 1942 are electrically driven; and whether this method of propulsion is being adopted to any extent in British shipyards?
The Admiralty are aware that propulsion by means of electric drive has been adopted to a rather greater extent in the United States of America than in this country. Electric drive is not acceptable for the propulsion of major naval vessels in view of the additional weight and volume of the machinery required and because it is less efficient than the system in use. It is being fitted in a considerable number of smaller naval craft in the United States of America, but production and fitting out facilities in U.S.A. are greater than exist in this country. It is also used in some submarines, which in any case require to be fitted with electric motors. The system is being adopted in merchant vessels building in United Kingdom shipyards where production can be linked up with fitting out facilities.