§ Q36. Sir David Price
asked the Prime Minister what assessment Her Majesty's Government have made of the minimum size of the British Merchant Navy necessary to be maintained for reasons of national defence; and what measures she intends to take to ensure that this minimum is sustained in future years.
§ The Prime Minister
At present the United Kingdom registered merchant fleet numbers some 656 ships. The requirement for merchant vessels to support Her Majesty's forces in time of tension or war is kept under continuous review. If deficiencies seem likely to arise, action will be taken appropriate to the type of vessel concerned.