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Armed Merchant Vessels

Volume 65: debated on Monday 20 July 1914

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37.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in the case of merchant vessels now armed by the Admiralty, the commanders are officers under the Admiralty; whether the crews are under naval discipline; and, if not, whether any conditions are enforced that a certain proportion of officers and crew of the armed merchantmen should have served in the Navy?

The answer to all three parts of the question is in the negative.

38.

asked whether, in the case of merchantmen armed for use in warfare, inspections are made and experiments are attempted to see whether the guns mounted on these ships can be safely and properly handled; whether, in the course of their voyages, occasions are found for firing these guns; and whether the results of such gun trials or inspections have given satisfaction?

The reply to all three parts of the question is in the affirmative, except that no such tests have been made outside Home waters.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there have been any difficulties of vibration because of the firing of the guns on merchantships?