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EDM (Early Day Motion) 209: tabled on 18 June 2012

Tabled in the 2012-13 session.

This motion has been signed by 15 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

As this motion is using historical data, we may not have the record of the original ordering, in which case signatories are listed alphabetically.

Motion text

That this House pays tribute to the memory of the 17 Merchant Navy officers and ratings who lost their lives when the Argentine Air Force attacked the container ship Atlantic Conveyor and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ships Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram during the Falklands conflict; recognises the crucial role played by the estimated 3,000 civilian crew aboard the 22 RFA and 51 vessels chartered or requisitioned from the UK Merchant Navy by the Ministry of Defence which included minesweeping, troop transport, supply of equipment, fuel and food, hospital facilities, carrying prisoners and accommodating survivors; shares maritime trade unions Nautilus and RMT's concern that this level of support formilitary operation is not possible today as the number of UK Merchant Navy seafarers has fallenby over 52 per cent between 1982 and 2012, the majority of seafarers on vessels bearing the UK flag are now from other countries and the UK-owned and registered merchant fleet has shrunk to one-third of its 1982 size; notes the National Audit Office's finding that the Ministry of Defence paid 38 million above commercial rates to shipping companies for charter of tonnage for use in the first Gulf War; and believes that the thirtieth anniversary of the Falklands conflict demands an appraisal of the Merchant Navy's ability to fulfil its role as the fourth arm of the UK's defence capabilities.