§ Mr. Dalyell
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates he has for the number of unemployed British seamen on the Merchant Navy shipping register; and what percentage of the British merchant fleet is laid up.
§ Mr. David Mitchell
The number of British seamen registered with the Merchant Navy establishment administration who were unemployed at 14 October 1983 was:
Number Officers 1,108 Ratings 1,621
According to figures published by the General Council of British Shipping, 17 per cent. of the deadweight tonnage of the United Kingdom registered merchant fleet was laid up through lack of employment on 31 August 1983.