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Armed Merchant Vessels

Volume 65: debated on Tuesday 21 July 1914

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asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, if he will show that any other Power and, if so, what Power has adopted the policy of arming mercantile ships for use in the event of war?

I must refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by the First Lord on this subject when introducing the Navy Estimates on the 26th March, 1913.


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his policy of arming merchant vessels for possible use in war time has been followed by any pre tests, official or otherwise, on the part of any other Powers?


asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he has information to show that in the case of cargoes carried in merchantmen armed by the British Admiralty higher or lower rates are required for insurance on cargoes carried in such armed merchantmen; and, if so, whether the higher or lower rates apply to ordinary or to war risks?

I am informed that up to the present time there has been no difference between the insurance rates on cargoes carried in merchant vessels armed by the Admiralty and those on cargoes carried in unarmed vessels. It is impossible to say whether there would be any difference in war time in rates on armed and unarmed merchantmen, as the rates would be dependent on a number of conditions that cannot now be foreseen.