Motion made, and Question proposed,
"That a sum, not exceeding£3,483,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Expense of Works, Buildings, and Repairs, at home and abroad, including the cost of Superintendence, Purchase of Sites, Grants-in-Aid, and other Charges connected therewith, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1923, in addition to a sum of £790,000 to be allocated for this purpose from the sum of £12,000,000 voted on account of Navy Services generally."
In making the customary statement on the introduction of Vote 10, I hope the Committee will find that my remarks will be as brief as my demands are going to be modest. Before I come to the figures, I wish to dissipate two erroneous ideas I find very commonly held with regard to this Vote. The first is that because this Vote deals chiefly with such mundane materials as bricks and mortar, it must be a very dull subject. I can only say, as one who temporarily has something to do with the administration of this Vote, that I find it intensely interesting. We deal with and we provide everything for the requirements of the Navy, from the largest engineering undertaking to the smallest building repair, in almost every part of the world. We deal in everything from docks to door handles, from barracks to washhand basins, and the area over which we work extends from Wei-hai-wei in the North to the Cape of Good Hope in the South; from Jamaica and the Falklands in the West to Singapore and Hong Kong in the East; and to me this world interest invests even bricks and mortar with a certain amount of glamour.The second error to which I have alluded is a far more important one. There is a widespread belief that expenditure under this Vote is not essential for the primary purpose of the Navy, and that it absorbs money which might be more profitably devoted to the fighting efficiency of the Fleet in other directions of the Naval Service. If I may say so, I think this is the right line that any criticism should take, that no expenditure on this Vote should detract from the fighting efficiency of the Fleet, and that is the test which I always apply to every single item of expenditure that comes before me on this Vote. This general belief is entirely wrong, because you cannot divide expenditure under this Vote from that incurred for the general needs of the Navy. What we provide forms an integral and vital part of the Navy both in personnel and material. Take personnel. We have to build and provide the educational establishments and colleges at which the men are trained. We have to build and provide the barracks in which they are housed; and we have to build and provide the hospitals to which they are taken when they are sick. We have to build and maintain the slips on which to build the ships, and the docks and the locks in which they are repaired; we have to build and maintain the workshops in which the repairs are carried out; we have to lay down railways and provide roads to serve those ships and workshops; and we have to build and provide piers and jetties, and, by dredging, ensure the correct depth of water for the ever increasing draught of our ships. 4.0 P.M. We have to build and maintain workshops, storehouses and magazines for the thousand and one articles without which the ships would be useless; guns, ammunition, torpedoes, mines, depth charges, and stores of every description. Further we have to provide fuel installations—and this is probably the most important item we have to provide at the present moment—to replenish our ships not only at home but all over the world; and we have to build wireless telegraphy stations to communicate with our ships. I hope I have indicated enough of our activities to show the Committee that we provide for the integral needs of the Navy and that the Fleet could not come into being or exist without us. The amount which I am going to ask the Committee to provide for the purposes I have roughly outlined for the financial year 1922–23 is £4,273,000. Last year this House voted £5,836,600, but to that I must add a Supplementary Estimate of £10,000 which we got through later in the year, so that, comparing the gross Vote this year with the gross Vote of last year, I can show a decrease of £1,573,600, which, if you take the percentage, is a very considerable amount on the total involved. I want the Admiralty, and particularly my Department, to get the credit for the great majority of this reduction, because the great majority of the cut was made before the Committee on National Expenditure was ever heard of. As long ago as June last year we had cut this Vote down to £4,756,000, and this was the Estimate which we presented to the Geddes Committee. The Admiralty have always been willing to co-operate with that Committee or any Committee to effect reductions in expenditure, and we met that Committee and made a further reduction of £483,000. This further reduction was not made without a great deal of effort, and it was made, in four ways. First, by not proceeding with various items that were approved by this House last year and which we thought we could really do without in these trying times. Secondly, by going slow with various continuation services where the adoption of that method did not involve too great expense. In some cases it might involve too great an expense for the saving made at the moment. Thirdly, by postponing many undertakings entered into for the improvement of the living conditions of naval ratings while serving on shore. I regret very much not being able to go on with some of these welfare items, and I hope that the House, when times are more propitious and money is more easily available, will support me or my successor in trying to get some of these welfare items that really are so desirable. The fourth means by which we made that cut was by drastically cutting down new works and concentrating only on those services absolutely necessary in the interests of safety and health. The Geddes Committee, in their Report on that Vote, which is not a very long one, recommended that no new works of any description whatsoever should be undertaken this year. The Admiralty could not possibly recom- mend that course to the House, because it would be the most false economy imaginable. I do not know whether many hon. Members, like myself, since the War, have taken a great deal more interest in such subject as re-soling one's boots and shoes. If they have, they will have learned, like myself, that you can allow a hole in the outer sole to go to a certain length, but directly it goes too far the shoe becomes useless and you have to buy a new pair.
And a new pair of socks, too.
That is equally true of nearly all the small amount of new work which I am asking the Committee to provide for in these Estimates. It will, I think, interest the Committee, more than anything else, to have a comparison with the pre-War Vote of 1914–15. To take an exact comparison between the expenditure to-day and the expenditure just before the War, I must explain that there are certain annual charges and obligations to the total value of £1,358,431, which, although relating to services carried out, or to grants approved in past years, have been provided for. This sum is made up of redemption of rent charges on branch railways, £1,013, of recurring grants-in-aid £13,011, and—this is by far the biggest item—of an annuity in repayment of advances under Naval Works Acts, 1885 to 1895, which the Committee will find under Sub-head O in the Estimates, amounting to £1,344,407. Those three items make a total of £1,358,431, and we must deduct them to get the effective expenditure of this year.
There are also certain War charges.
I am coming to those in a moment. We thus get a figure of £2,914,569. To be quite fair, we must add an appropriation-in-aid of £75,000, but we are also, I think, entitled to deduct charges arising directly out of the War amounting to £80,700. Making these allowances, we get a figure of £2,908,869, which is the anticipated effective expenditure on naval works in 1922–23. By applying exactly the same corrections to the Vote in 1914-15, we can compare the net effective totals, and they are as follow: 1914–15, £2,306,422; 1922–23, £2,908,869. That shows an increase of only 26 per cent., and, when the Committee take into consideration, as they must, the fact that nearly all the works that we do under this Vote are costing us in the neighbourhood of 140 per cent. more than they did, on the average, in 1914, I think they will admit that the provision I am now asking for has been based on the lines of moderation and economy.I want to say one word before I sit down about the question of oil. The small increase of 26 per cent. that I have explained to the Committee does not accurately represent the economies that we have really made, for over one-third of the total effective expenditure this year is incurred for oil fuel storage, installations, a service for which we had to provide only a small sum in pre-War days. It is practically a new service, though an absolutely vital service for the Fleet. The amount we are asking for this year is £1,007,400, and represents the lowest possible figure to which we have been able to reduce it. I do hope that the Committee will not press me for any reduction in this item. They must remember that the safeguarding of the British Empire and the policing of the ocean may depend no longer upon great numerical superiority. They depend to-day on the efficiency of our Fleet. One of the first necessities of efficiency is mobility, and one of the first essentials for mobility are oil tanks all over the world where our ships may go. I hope the Committee will support the Admiralty in this matter. I do not propose at this stage to go into any details, but I will reply later to any questions that may arise during the Debate. I maintain that we have taken to heart that oft repeated injunction to cut our coat according to our cloth. We have made every endeavour to reduce this Vote. I am not so foolish as to say that it is incapable of still further pruning, but we have not been able to find any legitimate means, and I shall be much obliged if hon. Members of this Committee can supply some means of doing so.
I beg to move to reduce the Vote by £1,000.I believe the Committee will understand me when I say that I would rather be defending this Estimate than attacking it. The position of the hon. and gallant Gentleman is a more grateful one for one who has served in the Service, as I have. Nevertheless, I do feel that the pious aspirations explained by the hon. and gallant Gentleman have not been quite fully carried out in this Vote. He said that the test of expenditure should be the necessity of the Navy, and that nothing should detract from its fighting efficiency. I have had the honour of taking part in one or two Debates on the Navy Estimates, and I have always tried to make it clear that we should scrutinise every penny of the expenditure from the sole standpoint of the fighting efficiency of the Fleet. The Navy is not a charitable organisation. It does not exist to give work in certain parts of the country. I speak of this matter with some trepidation, as I am surrounded by hon. Gentlemen who represent those parts of the country which have great dockyards situated in them. I want to accept the invitation of my hon. and gallant Friend and tell him where I think money could be saved without-detracting one iota from the fighting efficiency of the Fleet. After the War, the Admiralty were faced with a very serious and difficult problem, and that was the problem of the dockyards. Every war in which we have taken part has produced its own particular dockyards, and, after the war, they have been left as heritages of that war, and in some cases have not been required for the new grouping in which we have found ourselves. As an example, the Dutch wars produced Chatham. They produced the expansion of Chatham, Plymouth, that great and excellent harbour—
The hon. Member for Devonport must I forgive me if I refer to it by its historic name. The Spanish wars led to the expansion of the naval establishments of Plymouth. The French wars led to the; great expansion of our most ancient dockyard, Portsmouth. The German menace and war led to the building and the expansion of the great Scottish dockyard of Rosyth. After this War, it was obvious to anyone that the strategical situation had altered completely, and that, whereas the Navy had a North Sea alinement up to the outbreak of the late War, if it were to have an alinement of that sort—and it is the only means of having a Navy—it must be towards the Far East and West in the Atlantic. Take the case of two of these dockyards Chatham and Rosyth. They are not placed suitably for the new naval conditions in which we find ourselves. I am not referring to these ports with the object of drawing hon. Members who represent them in this House. I am trying to face facts and to explain the problem which the Admiralty are confronted with. If these great establishments—
I do not know how far the hon. Member has it in his mind to go. This is the only opportunity hon. Members have to discuss the detailed expenditure in connection with works and buildings; it is not the occasion for discussing the general policy of the Admiralty.
Surely it is absolutely within order and according to precedent that the policy of the Admiralty which involves these works should be discussed on this Vote.
That is not the point. I was asking the hon. and gallant Member how far his argument was directed to general policy, and I was pointing out that this is not the occasion for a general discussion on the naval policy of the Admiralty.
I do not wish to discuss questions of general policy on this Vote. I was pointing out certain expenditure on the dockyards which I consider is bad expenditure. A policy I thought should have been adopted, which would have meant the rapid closing down, as far as possible, of those dockyards which were considered redundant, and therefore, whichever they were, all items involving this spending of money—and these items are scattered over all the dockyards, and there seems to be no question of spending a little more here or a little less there—I was pointing out that until the Admiralty can make up their mind on this great problem, real economy in dockyard expenditure will be impossible. May I return at once to the question of detail. I hesitate to refer again to the case of the dockyard at Pembroke. That question has been raised in many quarters in this House, and yet we are asked in this Vote to spend a sum of £1,600 on part of an extension involving an expenditure of £228,000 in a dockyard which the Admiralty themselves have condemned.
On a point of Order. This Vote is for certain works, buildings, and repairs at home and abroad. This is not the occasion to discuss the policy of the Government in regard to dockyards, which, I submit, comes under an entirely different Vote, and I would urge that the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull is entirely out of order in now referring to the case of Pembroke Dockyard.
On page 137 of the Navy Estimates there is an item with regard to Pembroke Dockyard which I propose to examine.
Yes, there is an item of expenditure on Pembroke Dockyard. There are also other items connected with other dockyards. I do not think on this Vote for works and buildings we can have a general discussion with regard to dockyards like Portsmouth and Rosyth and matters of this sort. This is not the occasion on which to decide policy in regard to any dockyard, Pembroke or any other. I do not say I would object to hon. Members making reference to expenditure in particular dockyards, but it would not be in order to have a general discussion on dockyards.
While agreeing entirely with the view of my hon. and gallant Friend opposite the Member for Devonport (Sir C. Kinloch-Cooke) that the general policy of the Navy cannot be called into question on this Vote, may I submit that if there is, for instance, a certain amount of money being spent on certain dockyards, and if there are, as is well known to hon. Members, rumours about particular expenditure in Pembroke Dockyard, surely the question of a particular expenditure in a particular dockyard for a particular reason, even though it be of a political character, is a matter which it is desirable should be brought out quite clearly. I submit with very great deference on that particular point that it is within the rules of order, and it is better it should be discussed on this Committee stage, where my hon. and gallant Friend can answer questions, rather than that the subject should be interposed in a great general discussion.
But the Minister in charge of policy is not here. The Minister in charge of these items of expenditure on works, buildings and repairs is here for the purpose of giving the Committee information on those proposals., I have pointed out that there is an item of £1,600 for expenditure on Pembroke Dockyard, and if that is discussed Members must confine themselves to that particular item, and not cover the whole question.
As I hope to take part in the Debate later on, and as you, Sir, tell us that questions of policy must not be discussed on this Vote, of course I bow to your ruling, but there is the question to come up of oil fuel installation, and I want to point out it is impossible to discuss that in any form on this Vote without opening up somewhat wide questions of policy.
The Noble Lord is quite right, and it will be for the Chairman to use his discretion during the course of the Debate.
Would it not be in order to show reasons why Pembroke Dockyard is useless for any further purpose, and that it is wrong to spend any more money upon it?
We can only discuss that in relation to this Vote of £1,600, and in so far as hon. Members introduce arguments on the question they must apply them to the £1,600 which it is proposed to spend. Then they will be in order.
May I point out that the hon. Gentleman who represents the Admiralty in this House, the First Lord being in another place, can give us his views of policy?
I want to ask a question about the £1,600 to be expended on Pembroke Dockyard. Here is a dockyard maintained admittedly on sufferance. I do not want to touch even the policy concerned. The dockyard is being kept alive not for naval purposes but because of the community which has grown up around it, because of the money spent on waterworks, gasworks, roads, and so on. This £1,600 Hwy be attacked in all parts of the House. If it were just for ordinary upkeep it would be an entirely different matter, but it is for an extension of new works, and I think the House should be given not only details of the expenditure but some justification for it. It is pointed out that the total amount involved up to the 31st March last was no less a sum than £238,200. I think this extension should have been stopped long since, because the Admiralty stated after the Armistice that, for naval purposes, Pembroke was no longer required. I daresay some explanation will be forthcoming of this expenditure. There are one or two other items I would like to ask about, and I will stick strictly to details. First of all, with regard to Portsmouth. We have an item for a motor garage. I would remind hon. Members of the statement made by the hon. and gallant Gentleman who introduced this Estimate that every penny was for the fighting efficiency of the Fleet. May I ask why a motor garage is necessary at Portsmouth in these times of financial stringency, when the Fleet is not getting the right men, and the men are not getting sea training? May I ask why it should be thought necessary to spend money on a motor garage at Portsmouth? I do not want to take up the very narrow view that it is not necessary to have motor transport. If you are going to have these vast shore establishments I suppose the Admiralty can make a good case for having motor garages, but in this year, 1922, to spend a sum of something like £12,500 for this purpose does not seem reasonable. To my knowledge there are any number of sheds and buidings at Portsmouth which could be well utilised for this purpose, and it would not cost very much to turn one of them into a garage quite suitable for dockyard purposes. Then I should like to get an assurance with regard to another very large item at Portsmouth, and that is in respect of expenditure on the "Vernon" torpedo establishment. My hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone (Commander Bellairs) and many other naval officers did duty on the "Vernon" for many years and know the value of the training which was given on her. It was necessary to transfer the school to a shore establishment. I see that a sum of £662,000 is being spent on that establishment. That sounds to be exorbitant, and I notice there is another item of £160,000 for machinery. There are many Members of this House who have been over the "Vernon" when she was fitted with torpedo machinery and did excellent work, but how on earth this sum of nearly one million pounds—at any rate, over £800,000—can be spent without gross extravagance on a shore establishment I cannot understand, and I invite explanation from the hon. and gallant Gentleman.
Has the hon. and gallant Member noticed that £486,000 has already been spent?
That is so, but we are continuing the expenditure on this school. Naturally I took the total cost, and I think a great deal of extravagance must have been indulged in on this building. In view of the known financial position of the country and the need for saving every available penny we can on the Navy without loss of efficiency, I invite an explanation on this expenditure. I may perhaps be permitted here to throw in another observation. There seems to be a growing belief in the Admiralty that you can make not only sailors and torpedo men, but gunners also in shore establishments. That is a total fallacy. The only place you can do it is afloat, and I think it right therefore to criticise very closely indeed any expenditure on shore torpedo establishments. I regret very much that expenditure is also going on at Rosyth—not in maintenance, not in providing work for the men who are there, through no fault of their own, and find themselves in a difficult position, and whom we cannot absolutely cast out, but on new works and extensions. To spend that money on a purely North Sea dockyard seems to me to be an extraordinary policy to pursue after what has happened in the last few years.I now come to a different item altogether, namely, the expenditure which the Admiralty are incurring upon the very romantic project of the towers which are at present moored at Shoreham. I refer to the expenditure of £17,700 under the heading of, "Defence Works (M.N. Scheme)." The history of these towers is, as I have said, very romantic. During the unique conditions of the late War, in which we were caught napping as regards the German submarine menace, it was necessary, at all costs, to find some means of preventing German submarines from running through the Straits of Dover, and someone hit upon the idea of making concrete and steel towers which could be towed out and sunk on certain selected sandbanks in the Channel. On those towers were to be mounted searchlights and guns, and they were also to be equipped with listening apparatus—hydrophones—for detecting submarines, and with firing apparatus for exploding the minefields through which the submarines might be passing. This was very good from the point of view of the War, but, unfortunately, it was hit upon rather too late. The Armistice came, and I believe that none of these towers have been so far completed as to be actually used, and the Admiralty were faced with the question what was to be done with them. I am afraid that this was one of those schemes which gave rise in the Admiralty to a separate Department, with its own permanent staff, and they brought forward very good reasons for continuing the construction of these towers. They have cost, to date, £1,162,000, and the total amount which it is proposed to spend on them is, apparently, £1,180,000, of which we are asked this year for 217,700. May I respectfully ask what these towers are really going to be used for? It is no use saying that they are wanted for hydrophone experiments, because such experiments can be carried out from the shore, and for all practical purposes a concrete tower is no different, whether it is on dry land or fixed on a sandbank with a few feet of water round its base. Are they to be used for night-firing tests? I submit that such tests can be just as well carried out from the shore. Are they going to be used as lighthouses, as I have seen suggested in the Press? In the meantime, why are they at Shoreham spoiling the beautiful little harbour and annoying the local inhabitants? The additional expenditure on these towers—I think that this expenditure on the M.N. Scheme is for these towers—is a wicked waste of money, and I would suggest that we set to work to get rid of them. Blow them up, or tow them out to sea and sink them, but do not go on spending money on these costly white elephants. Their only possible use was in the unique conditions of the late War. I do not know how it is proposed to use them in any future war. Is it proposed to tow them out to Singapore or Bermuda and use them there? I cannot conceive of their ever being used in the Channel for the purpose of keeping German submarines from running through the Straits of Dover. I am going now to make one last suggestion for economy, and here I shall turn to a friendly encounter between the Parliamentary Secretary and myself on the question of Jamaica. We are asked to spend £60,000 on an oil fuel depot at Jamaica. With the remarks of the Civil Lord about the necessity for oil fuel stations at the right places, for purposes of mobility, I quite agree, but in peace time we do not need an oil fuel depot at Jamaica. In war time, if we are allied with the United States, we shall still not need it, because we can get all the oil we want from Key West, or others of the magnificent American naval bases; while if we were engaged in a war in which the United States was hostile to us, we should not be able to use Jamaica, because it is so far inside the Gulf of Mexico that, without such a preponderating increase of force as we are never likely to get, as far as I can see, we should not be able to keep up our communications with Jamaica. In saying that, I am giving away no naval secret, because everyone knows it. I have raised this question before, and the Parliamentary Secretary has replied, "I am talking about dockyard expenditure, and Jamaica is not a dockyard." It is, however, an oil fuel depot, and we are spending money on an oil fuel depot which, I submit, will never be needed in war except in the one war in which it cannot be used. I do not think that whoever advised this expenditure on Jamaica could have considered the position from the point of view of strategy. I suppose they said, "Here is a nice British Colony in the West Indies, which has been used as a dockyard for hundreds of years, and, of course, that must be the place to have an oil fuel depot." I am afraid that a good deal of Admiralty expenditure in the past, and, I am sorry to say, also in the present, has been, and is being incurred on those lines. It shows a lack of co-ordination between the Naval staff and the Departments responsible for the erection of these works. I repeat that there are economies which can still be made, if the Admiralty will be courageous, without detracting from the efficiency of the Fleet, and I feel this so strongly, particularly with regard to this question of Jamaica, that I now move to reduce the Vote by £1,000.
The Civil Lord of the Admiralty made a most interesting speech, which was full of both imagination and ingenuity, and which had the extreme merit of being about the shortest speech ever made by any Minister in introducing Estimates. He said that his subject had glamour. It ranged from Wei-hai-Wei to Sydney, from the Falkland Islands to Rosyth, and that is the trouble of bringing imagination to bear upon it. One can always discover key positions and put up works such as those which have been referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy). You have, for instance, oil fuel depots here, there and everywhere. There are no less than twenty-two places provided for in these Estimates where we not putting up oil fuel depots. It is not only glamour that is associated with this Vote, but a good deal of clamour as well. The clamour comes from Wales in regard to Pembroke, and from Scotland in regard to Rosyth and Greenock. That is very undesirable indeed. The general body of Members ought to assemble for the purpose of putting down projects such as further expenditure at Pembroke or other redundant Government dockyards. I will go through some of the items of this Vote, taking one of the smallest first. There is an item of £500 for Wei-hai-Wei, and I want to ask my hon. and gallant Friend whether we have not agreed at the Washington Conference to give up Wei-hai-Wei, and whether he will not get some money in from China, in connection with the sale of effects at Wei-hai-Wei, which will come to the assistance of this Vote and which is not mentioned in the Grant-in-Aid?On page 132c of the Estimates, I find that we have resuscitated Keyham Engineering College at a cost of £31,000, and that brings me to the question how intimately associated policy is with this Vote. We allowed Keyham College to go downhill on the ground that it was no longer required, because a great admiral, Lord Fisher, introduced a scheme of training which turned out to be an absolute failure. We have now had to come back to the old scheme and put the engineers back at Keyham College, and we have to spend £31,000 on Keyham College in order to rehabilitate it. On the same page I look at Greenock and find that there is a torpedo factory there which, with machinery, is to be extended at a cost of £83,000. How has that come about? First of all, the Admiralty enters into a policy of building torpedoes in rivalry with private works at Weymouth, and then they give nearly all their order to that Government establishment. The result is disastrous. They drive the private establishment out of business altogether, and we lose all the foreign orders associated with that kind of establishment; and now the Admiralty have to come to us to extend the Government establishments because they have driven the private firms out of business altogether. Then there is the item of the "Vernon," to which my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Central Hull referred, and on which there is a total expenditure with machinery of £826,000. Considering that we have these separate torpedo training establishments at different ports, and that they will come along later on for bricks-and-mortar establishments, I do think we ought to question this and see if we cannot prune down that stupendous figure of £826,000 for a single torpedo training establishment. I agree that the old "Vernon" was insanitary, that it was utterly unfit for its work, and that this ought to have been done years ago. If it had been done years ago it would have been done much more cheaply, because building costs would not have been so great. On page 142 there is an expenditure, including machinery, of £249,000 for Rosyth. I notice that the hon. Member for East Edinburgh (Mr. Hogge) has on the Paper a reduction of £1,000 on this Vote, so I presume that he is dissatisfied that we are still spending money on Rosyth where he can study extravagance at close quarters. At any rate, I hope he is, because it would be a great thing if we could get the Scottish Members to come and protest against extending this dockyard. The total sum under Vote 10 is £4,273,000, and I have performed the same calculation as my hon. and gallant Friend, except that I made the comparison with 1913. After adding grants-in-aid and deducting war charges, annuity, and redemption of borrowed money, I make the annual sum that he has to account for £2,941,000, of which, as he pointed out, over one-third goes on oil. That is £699,000 more, if similar deductions are made, than in 1913, when we were preparing for a definite war with Germany. Now we have the advantage of all the tremendous expenditure of the War, and yet the expenditure is practically £700,000 more than it was in 1913. I am utterly unable to account for that. It is perfectly true that we have over one-third for oil. The Civil Lord said that it was a very small sum in pre-War days, but I do not think it was. He seems to have forgotten the great expenditure of £590,000 on oil for Rosyth in pre-War days, and £95,000 on oil for the Humber. I acknowledge that the expenditure on oil was not as great as it is to-day, but, coming to this question of oil, I find that there is £300,000 for Singapore, and £162,000 for Rangoon. I do not question that, because probably the naval battles of the future will be fought in the Pacific if we do have another naval war, which I profoundly hope will never be the case. I would, however, ask the Admiralty, with regard to these places and to the other 20 places—there are 22 in all—was it not possible to go to the great shipping companies and other private interests, and see if we could not build up these resources by means of subsidies, so that the mercantile marine would develop as well, now that it is taking to oil? I come to another interesting point. At all these 22 places where we are building up oil resources—Sierra Leone, Ceylon, the Falkland Islands, Jamaica, which was mentioned by the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull, and so on—you cannot stop at putting the oil there; you must put defences there as well. I ventured to point out, when we were proposing to lay the Pacific cable to Fanning Island, how undesirable it was to proceed without providing for defences. I pointed out that that cable would be the only cable to be cut during the War and that it ought to land at Honolulu. It was the only cable cut during the War, because there were no defence works. You cannot escape that point that you have to consider far more than the actual expenditure. You have to consider the defence works as well and then is it worth while? Is it desirable that now, in a time of profound peace, we should scatter these oil enterprises as Government enterprises, solely for the use of the Navy in a conjectural war, when in all probability we can, by associating ourselves with the mercantile marine, secure all we want for the future. Unless I get some satisfactory explanation, I cannot accept the Civil Lord's view that they have been pruned almost to the bone. I do not think they have and in that case I shall be forced to support the reduction.
The Civil Lord has introduced these Estimates in a most admirable speech. One of the great advantages the Admiralty have in these days is that they are represented by such accomplished Parliamentarians, and that disarms a good deal of possibly hostile opinion. But when my hon. Friend claims credit for the great economies which have been made, I must remind him of something which the hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just sat down has put his finger on, and that is that before the War an enormous expense was being incurred annually on building the great Rosyth Dockyard and other defences on the East Coast in view of the German menace. If no Washington Conference had occurred this Vote must have been a great deal larger, because the Admiralty were proposing to build ships which could not have been laid down in the dockyard at all. But I want to call attention to the enormous number of establishments which are being maintained—establishments started by the Admiralty—and I cannot but contend that this is a wrong policy. It is a most wasteful thing to have an enormous number of small establishments all over the world. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just sat down said they had to be defended. It is not a question only of building these places, but they must be watched, and in these Estimates we are being asked to vote money for shore establishments which ought not to be wanted. The Geddes Committee warned the Government that on this Vote there were shore establishments which were not required in these days. They very clearly put the point that the men who were occupied in these shore establishments do not add to the fighting efficiency of the Fleet. You have a number of men whom I have heard described as more or less parasites. Also you are spending considerable sums of money on police accommodation in this Vote. These shore establishments are the very things which eat up police accommodation. There again the Geddes Committee showed very clearly that the Metropolitan Police, for whom this Vote provides the money to build cottages, are very expensive. Why cannot you guard your establishments without the aid of this very expensive force? You have now got 1,665 Metropolitan Police, compared with 1,347 before the War. Why should you have to provide accommodation in these Estimates for 300 more men, especially as the Fleet is being greatly reduced? I do not understand it. I should like to have an explanation why we are providing for building accommodation for the Metropolitan Police when the Geddes Committee said quite clearly that you have too many police already.Then this is a most amazing thing in contra-distinction to the Geddes Committee—the question of an addition to the torpedo factory at Greenock. Why should you want to add to the torpedo factory at Greenock? It goes absolutely contrary to what the Geddes Committee recommended. The Geddes Committee have told the House and the country that the Admiralty have an excess of torpedoes at present. They say we have a stock of 21-inch torpedoes valued approximately at £10,000,000, and there are 3,000 others of an older type valued at £4,500,000. Why on earth should the House be asked to sanction the extension of the torpedo factory at Greenock when we have this enormous lot of torpedoes?
They are out of date.
No. They are not out of date. There have been no ships built which would not take the torpedoes which the Geddes Committee value at £10,000,000. I ask my hon. Friend to give some information about this because it is very important. Why should you extend this Government establishment when you have already £15,000,000 worth of torpedoes in store? Surely there must be something wrong. The Geddes Committee have been very accurate in all their figures despite the Financial Secretary's animadversions on their accuracy and we may take these figures as accurate. We should never have had them had it not been for the Geddes Committee and we should never have been able to apply this criticism to the Greenock Torpedo Factory. I observe that there is an Estimate for the Holton Heath Cordite Factory. Is there any co-ordination with the Army in this matter? Are they each going to have separate establishments for manufacturing cordite? These are questions which from the point of view of the taxpayer one has the right and the duty to ask.The hon. and gallant Gentleman who has just sat down has put the point about oil fuel installations. Why should you at this moment, when everything is at its dearest and everything to do with building is extremely dear, make a rush to establish oil fuel establishments all over the world when you have been told by the Cabinet that you need not prepare for war for 10 years? I observe that new works are going to be commenced at several outlying places. I would ask further what sort of oil fuel installations do you propose to erect. Are they of the gasometer type such as have been erected round this country, because if you erect these gasometers, say, at Singapore or Rangoon or the Falkland Islands how are you going to defend them? What is to prevent a hostile submarine coming and shelling them? You are asking an enormous sum of money to erect these oil fuel tanks in all the outlying parts of the Globe where they cannot be defended, and next, I assume, we shall have Votes for their defence. I ask the Admiralty to pause in this matter. The Geddes Committee asked them to pause in the erection of these oil fuel tanks all over the world. Have the Admiralty taken into consideration not only shelling by submarines but bombing from aeroplanes? Are you quite sure that your present system, which answered during the late War, of building these great gasometers full of oil will answer in the future? I cannot help thinking there is a very great danger that these big steel shells, containing enormous quantities of oil and exposed to the air, will be attacked by aeroplanes, as they certainly could be attacked by submarines. The Government should try to imagine that there is a taxpayer outside who is very heavily burdened, and the chief cause of complaint when you go to the country is the heavy taxation he has to pay. There are very large sums of money here for the upkeep of docks. The Geddes Committee said quite clearly that the dockyards were at present excessive. Why do you spend more money on keeping up redundant dockyards? I do not propose to go into the question of Pembroke. The Pembroke people have made a very wise choice, inasmuch as they have selected, I believe, the son of the Prime Minister as their future representative. I think it shows a great deal of business acumen on their part. But I want to ask the Civil Lord whether he is carrying out in this Vote the recommendation of the Geddes Committee with regard to Gibraltar. The Geddes Committee recommended that Gibraltar should be brought down to a care-and-maintenance basis. You are spending money on the reconstruction of the dockyard in Gibraltar to-day, and you are spending enormous sums on oil fuel altogether. Are you going against the Geddes Committee in these matters? Do you propose to keep the dock at Gibraltar up to its pre-War standard? The Geddes Committee have asked you not to spend money there, but to reduce the Vote. You are spending more money on new works at Gibraltar. Again, what is the object of building new houses for working men at Rosyth? "Buildings to be removed and re-erected, housing subordinate officers and working men." Why put up these buildings if the men will not be required Again, "housing accommodation for the police—and that is a new service—£31,000." Why should you spend £31,000 on housing the police at Rosyth when Rosyth must eventually be very greatly reduced? My hon. Friend said he was very sorry, indeed, that they had had to neglect welfare work. You need not have neglected welfare work for the Fleet. You could have saved money here. I understand that at Rosyth, actually within the last six months, land has been feud permanently for building other houses.
The Scottish Housing Council.
5.0 P. M.
The Scottish Housing Council. Are they doing the work on their own responsibility? When I was at the Admiralty we helped the Scottish Housing Council. I think it was a public utility society then. If the Scottish Housing Society is carrying out building for the Admiralty, more money ought to be in this Vote. If you have another Department doing part of your work, by erecting houses for you, you should provide for it on this Vote.
Will the right hon. Gentleman point out where the point he is raising is included in the Vote?
On page 142 there is an item for housing subordinate officers and workmen, £39,000; expenditure up to 31st March this year, £22,000; to be voted 1922–23, £17,000.
I am referring to the land.
Recently I was informed that land was feud about six months ago for building houses at Rosyth. Feud means that it is a permanent let to the Admiralty or some Government Department. The Scottish Housing Council would not take this land for building houses upon it unless it was required by the Admiralty. I am sorry to be critical, but one has to be critical. The country cannot stand the taxation; that is why I am critical. There is provision for numerous new works at Chatham. The Geddes Committee recommended that Rosyth and Chatham should be reduced. Is the Admiralty quite certain that Chatham is a dockyard upon which a large amount of money should be spent for new work? Are they quite certain that it cannot be bombed from the Continent? Are they quite certain that the whole strategic position of Chatham has not been changed. I have asked these questions over and over again, and I cannot get an answer. I hope that in the erection of all these buildings the Admiralty have taken into account the immense possibilities of aircraft in the future. It is said that aircraft can come and bomb London, and if they can bomb London they can certainly bomb Chatham. If my hon. Friend goes to a division I shall support him.
I should like to support what has been said by the previous speakers in relation to the dockyards. The Chair has given a ruling this afternoon which makes it very difficult to discuss the question of dockyards from the point of view of general policy as one would like to do; but there are one or two items in this Vote for certain dockyards to which I wish particularly to refer. A sum of £1,600 is to be spent at Pembroke. Of what possible use or value to the Navy in the future can Pembroke dockyard be? Cannot the Admiralty, without giving an indication of their general policy in regard to dockyards, give some idea of what use Pembroke dockyard is to the Navy? If it is little or no use to the Navy, why spend £1,600 upon it? It does not matter whether it is £1,600 or 1,600 pence; why spend it upon this dockyard? We all hope, at any rate those of us who are keen on economy, that this dockyard will be put an end to at the earliest possible moment. I am sorry that the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull did not move a reduction of the Vote to the full extent of the £1,600 which it is proposed to devote to Pembroke.I should like to know what expenditure is required for dredging the Medway in order to get a proper depth of water to enable Chatham dockyard to be used by the class of ships that use that dockyard. There are sums in the Vote relating to Sheerness. I understood some time ago that Sheerness had been closed down, and yet I see that further sums are to be spent upon Sheerness dockyard. Are we going to keep Sheerness dockyard going? If not, why are we asked to spend further money upon Sheerness? I cannot quite follow the previous speakers in their remarks with regard to Rosyth. At Rosyth we have the most modern dockyard, with the most modern machinery, at the disposal of the Navy, and the only docks that can take the poet-Jutland ship, the "Hood." There is one omission in regard to Rosyth that is rather significant. I think an omission is as suspicious as anything that is put down in the Vote. What is happening at Port Edgar in the Rosyth area? I can not find any money allocated to it. Port Edgar was supposed to be a destroyer base. I believe it is still used by destroyers. It was made during the War, and requires a great deal of dredging in order to make it possible for destroyers to use the dockyard. It is always silting up. Is any money being spent at Port Edgar? Can we have any information as to the amount of money that is being spent on dredging there? When you have a dockyard which requires a constant outlay of money in dredging so as to make it possible to be used by the Navy, some idea should be given of the expenditure, so that the House may judge whether the expenditure is justified. Many remarks have been made in regard to shore establishments. I cannot follow the right hon. Member for South Molton (Mr. Lambert) and the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull in this respect. The Geddes Committee criticise the Admiralty severely in regard to shore establishments, but I do not think they sufficiently realise that you cannot properly carry out the training of young boys as seamen, and the training of young able seamen either in gunnery or in torpedo practice on board ship, nor can you carry out the training of young officers adequately on board ship. To do so means putting the ship completely out of routine. Very often a ship is in dockyard for refit when it is necessary for the training to go through. That can only be adequately done on shore. A good deal has been said about putting the "Vernon" on shore. Many people think when they hear mention made of torpedoes or the Torpedo Branch of the Navy that that branch is only concerned with torpedoes. As a matter of fact, the Torpedo Branch of the Navy deals with fire control and with every branch of the electrical equipment of the ship. In addition, it has a good deal of work to do with the torpedoes. One of the lessons of the War has shown that certain establishments cannot really be effectively carried out at sea, and must be carried out on shore. The old "Vernon" was quite inadequate for the purpose. The new shore establishment has been designed on the most modern and up-to-date lines for machinery. It must not be supposed that the machinery with which the "Vernon" was equipped and which was getting old and out of date should not have been replaced. While hon. Members are criticising the Admiralty in connection with expenditure on the new "Vernon" establish- ment, I maintain that it is the duty of the Admiralty to keep the equipment up to date. Only in that way can the Navy be fit to deal with every development of modern war. The right hon. Member for South Molton mentioned Holton Heath, and I agree with him in regard to that question. I should like the Minister to explain why it is that the Admiralty cannot combine with the Army in regard to the production of cordite. It may be that Holton Heath is not capable of producing for both the Navy and the Army, but there is ample room for extension there. There is a magnificent factory, fully equipped for the production of cordite for the Navy's requirements during the War, but that establishment is apparently going slow. There are very few men there. It is not working to anything like its proper capacity. That establishment might do work for both the Navy and the Army. It may be that the cordite required for the Navy is different from the cordite used in the Army, but I should like the Admiralty to explain why they cannot combine the cordite production for the two Services. That matter might be brought before the Committee which is going into the question of the three Services, so that they might consider whether it would not be possible to combine the production of cordite for all the three Services. There is an item for new coastguard buildings. Is the Minister certain that the site selected for the coastguard buildings are the best. I know of a new coastguard building which it is proposed to erect between Brighton and Newhaven, not very far from Rottingdean. I have heard rumours that that station is to be built quite close to the edge of a cliff which is practically disappearing into the sea Is that so? In that area the Admiralty have a very nice little plot further back from the sea. There may be some: thing against using that plot. At any rate, if they are going to erect a new coastguard station in this locality, it is important to see that when they do so they are not in danger of seeing the new coastguard building disappearing into the sea in a few years' time. I come to the question of oil fuel storage. The right hon. Member for South Molten criticised the Admiralty very severely for their policy in regard to oil fuel storage. In so far as he criticised what he called the gasometer system I entirely agree with him. It is a most dangerous system. At Devonport at the present time the Admiralty are erecting a large number of these new gasometer tanks for the storage of oil. At Rosyth there is an immense depot of 30 or 40 big gasometer tanks for oil, which have just been erected. At Port Edgar there are some. This type of tank adopted by the Admiralty is obviously a most vulnerable type for shells or bombs from an enemy. It is a matter for consideration whether the Admiralty should not have an improved form of oil tank, presumably something underground. Of course, it would be very expensive. There is another point in this connection. We are now asked to lay out large sums of money all over the world. As the result of the Geddes Committee we have got to go slowly on oil storage. That is a most dangerous policy for the Navy. You may in what you are doing be crippling the Navy in future emergencies. If an emergency arose suddenly which made it necessary to send a British ship or squadron to some particular part of the world, there are places to which you would find it very difficult or almost impossible to send them or, at least, you could only send them steaming slowly so as to economise oil, and when they got there you would have to provide oil from oil tankers or something of that sort. To cut the Navy short of its fuel supply is to go to the very vitals of the Navy, which is a most dangerous thing. While you must spend as little money as possible there is a way in which you might get over the difficulty. There is a certain number of obsolete ships to be disposed of in the Navy. Could not some of these ships be adapted to be used as oil tanks? I do not know whether that is possible or not. I asked the same question last year, whether we could not, as a temporary measure only, adapt a certain number of obsolete ships for the storage of oil fuel. It would have this further additional advantage. It may be that the strategic points selected for the erection of these new oil tanks, for which we are asked to vote money in this Vote, are not the very best in the light of developments in the immediate future. It may be after having put an oil tank in one place that we may wish it had been put in some other place. Ships used as floating oil tanks can be moved from one place to another, and they would bridge the gap until we had discovered a certain strategic disposition of the oil which was the best that could be wished for. While we go slowly in this matter we must not cut down the oil in the Navy. We have now an entirely oil-burning Navy, with the exception of some battleships in the Mediterranean, and even they use a certain amount of oil. To cut short the fuel supply is most dangerous. The suggested arrangement would fill in a temporary gap, and these ships would have the additional advantage of being mobile. I wish now to refer to the mystery towers which have been referred to by the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy). I know them very well. After the Armistice the work went on on these two towers by night and day, and men were working overtime in continual shifts to get them completed. The Admiralty must have had some object in view when they were pushing this work through at great cost, for the overtime cost must have been terrefic. Now they have got them completed, and one is in use as a substitute for the Nab lightship. The other remains at Shoreham, to the disgust of the local inhabitants and anybody who has anything to do with the harbour. It is there as a monument of national waste. It is stated now that it is proposed to take it to pieces. An hon. Member suggested that it should be blown up. I do not think that he could have been at Shoreham or he would not have suggested that. The demolition of the structure, which is of reinforced concrete, would require a great deal of money. Why do the Admiralty not try to use it? Is it because they cannot get it out of the harbour now that it is built? If they got one out, why cannot they get out the other; and why cannot they use the second for the same purpose as the first, as a substitute for a lightship? I would ask the Admiralty to give a little detailed explanation about these mystery towers, because a great many people who have seen them think that they are a monument of waste. I accept the invitation of the hon. and gallant Gentleman in charge of this Vote, and I would ask him to scrutinise most carefully the expenditure of the dockyards. In connection with Pembroke, remember that the Navy is not a Poor Law relief service nor a political agency. Pembroke is not required for naval purposes, and it is a scandal that the Naval Vote should be saddled with what I regard as unjustifiable expenditure.
I should not have risen but for the fact that the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) moved to reduce the Vote by £1,000 because the Admiralty were going to complete the oil fuel storage accommodation at Jamaica. We discussed this matter very fully three years ago. I was one of those who urged the Admiralty to take the ships to which my Noble Friend has referred and to use them, but we were told conclusively that the upkeep of these vessels would be so great that it would be much cheaper for the Admiralty to have permanent tanks. My hon. and gallant Friend objects to Jamaica. He stated that in case of war with America we could not use it, and that if we were not at war with America we could get our oil from America. I am one of those who believe that we shall never be at war with America. I think that we are far too much moved by the same principles. We have too much in common for us ever to have war with America, but the United States does not own America. You have Canada and you have our possessions in the West Indies, and South America and I for one hope that our Fleet will annually visit large numbers of these ports in order to show that the British Empire is still ready to do its best and be in close touch with those countries. My hon. and gallant Friend seemed to think that Jamaica was of no importance, but Admiral Mahan has said that Jamaica is the great strategical point in the Carribean Sea. I hope that Jamaica will always remain a portion of the British Empire, and that our ships that are going to be propelled by oil will always be able to go there and replenish.
I wish to associate myself with all that has been said this afternoon on the question of scrutinising the expenditure on dockyards, but I wish to bring before the Committee the question of the expenditure on the dockyard at Devon-port or Plymouth—it makes very little difference. Someone said earlier in the day that the dockyard is called the Devonport Dockyard, but it was in the early clays called the Plymouth Dock- yard, and the Member for the Devonport Division of Plymouth (Sir C. Kinloch-Cooke) should be as gratified as the Member for the Drake Division of Plymouth (Sir A. S. Benn) to represent a town which, next to London, perhaps, is the most famous in the world. In every part of the world the name of Plymouth has been more frequently adopted than that of any other city. In America there are hundreds of towns which have taken the name of Plymouth, but it is to the Plymouth Dockyard to which I am making reference. Economy consists not merely in saving money, but in discrimination in spending money to the best advantage. In Devonport Dockyard for some time past it has been found necessary in the national interest to advocate an extension of the slip, if Devonport Dockyard was to be made equal to all the needs of the Navy, and last year, as a member of the Plymouth Corporation, and accompanied by a number of Plymouth and others Members of the House, I had an opportunity of putting before the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty the necessity not only for the expenditure included in these Estimates, but for the extension of the slip so that any ship might be built in one of these yards. The assurance was then given by the Parliamentary Secretary, with his usual courtesy, that the Devonport Dockyard was not to become simply a secondary dockyard, but the permanent policy of the Admiralty was to make Devonport Dockyard a real yard equal to all the needs of the Navy.
I would ask your ruling, Sir Edwin, on this point. Does not this matter come more particularly under Vote 8? If we start discussing what has not been done there will be no end.
On the point of Order. There was certain expenditure relating to extensions at. Plymouth Dockyard. I was hoping that it might be in order to say that these extensions were not sufficient.
I thought that the hon. Gentleman was going to develop that argument. He began by referring to items which are included in the Vote, and which seemed to be in order. Then he proceeded to get rather wide. The Minister in charge of the Vote rose to a point of Order, at a particular moment when the hon. Gentleman was out of order. But I have no doubt that the hon. Member will be able to make his point, and to say what he wants to say on the Vote before us.
If it were in order to discuss it on a subsequent Vote, I would more readily do so, but what I suggest here is that, having regard to the assurances that were given that the dockyard was to be made equal to all emergencies, might it not be possible to say that the millions of money which the nation has invested in the Royal yard should be utilised now that we are advocating economy, and that they cannot be utilised because neither Plymouth nor Devonport yard is equal to the building of the ships which we require at present for the Navy?
That is rather wide.
In view of your ruling, if it is in order on a subsequent Vote, I would rather reserve my remarks.
I will be very brief, as I wish merely to take exception to one or two small items. There is an item here for mosquito nets. I have been bitten by mosquitoes. When I was at sea we never asked for mosquito nets, and I do not think that they are at all necessary. There is Pembroke Dock. An hon. Member referred to the scandal of spending money there. I shall certainly vote with him for a reduction of the amount. Take Rosyth. There is a charge of £14,200 for the storage of gun mountings, and £3,000 is to be spent this year. I would like an explanation. It must be abvious that existing sheds and stores are ample for the storage of gun mountings.
I would like to associate myself with other hon. Members in congratulating the Civil Lord on the preciseness of his speech. At the same time I wish to take great exception to the underlying idea of his opening statement. As one listened to him one wondered whether there had been a pact of peace at Genoa, whether the Washington Conference was successful, and whether the League of Nations was to be a reality. The underlying idea of his speech was a comparison of the present Estimate with the pre-War standard. I suggest that the comparison to-day should not be with a pre-War standard, but between what the nation can afford and the realities of the situation. These Estimates have created profound disappointment amongst millions of people in this country. Take this particular Estimate of 4,000,000. If the Geddes Committee's recommendations had been adopted the Tea Duty alone could have been reduced by nearly 2d. a pound. The recommendations of that Committee were made by practical men. One of them was First Lord of the Admiralty during a serious period of the War, and he would not have put his name to that Report if he had been at all doubtful about letting the Navy down below the efficiency standard. The Civil Lord endeavoured to justify his Estimate but the Geddes Committee recommended that 11,000,000 should be sufficient for the continuation of works, repairs and maintenance. In the present Vote the sum is nearly £2,000,000.On storage accommodation, for which £1,020,000 is asked in these Estimates, the Committee recommended that the whole policy of oil storage in distant portions of the globe should be reviewed by the Navy. I suggest that if the interests of the taxpayer and the reality of the present situation had been clearly before the Admiralty when these Estimates were framed, the amount of the Vote would have been very largely reduced. On this Vote last year several hon. Members moved a reduction on certain items. This afternoon the Civil Lord has told the Committee that they are not now proceeding on the works which were started last year, that they are going slowly in other directions that they have postponed the erection of accommodation which they had hoped to proceed with, and that they had cut down new works. When these Estimates were before the Committee last year the Government endeavoured to justify every item in the expenditure, and if I this afternoon endeavoured to go through certain items. I have little doubt that the spokesman of the Government would fully justify to the Committee each item page by page. I think it was the late Mr. Gladstone who laid down this particular constitutional point, that when the House wits anxious to challenge the policy of a Government it was unwise to enter into questions of administration. The Civil Lord supported by the Financial Secretary and by his naval colleagues at the Admiralty can no doubt make out quite a good case for every item in these large Estimates. But they have forgotten the larger issue—that the necessity of spending this large sum of money no longer exists, that the Geddes Committee is clearly of opinion that the Admiralty have not yet fully grasped or grasped in any degree the fact that the sum of money they are asking from the House is excessive and unnecessary. Several hon. Members have drawn the attention of the Civil Lord to large items of expenditure. There are one or two I wish to indicate. New works are being erected at Aden, Bermuda and Ceylon for the storage accommodation of oil fuel. No money has yet been spent on the accommodation at Aden and Ceylon. If it he the universal desire among all classes of the community here, in Japan, in America and on the Continent that there can he no possible or no probable war for a considerable period of time., surely the clay has arrived when the precautions which were so necessary before the last War have become unnecessary.
The present Prime Minister told us in 1914 that that was the most favourable moment to reduce the expenditure on the Army and Navy, and said he was going to do it the next year. That shows how little people know what the future holds for us.
We have had a war since then, and it has altered the conditions.
We shall soon have another war if the Labour party get into power.
I am not a student of the speeches of the Prime Minister in 1914. I remember Debates of that time, and I remember taking an active part. in supporting the Government in Estimates Of £50,000,000 and arguing that the naval expenditure of 1914 was not excessive in comparison with our expenditure on social services during that year. But conditions have changed, and it is likely that wars will be impossible for years to come. These Estimates do not reveal that the realities of the situation have yet been grasped by the Admiralty. Take Rosyth as an example. The Committee is being asked to vote £223,000 for Rosyth. Was Rosyth so inefficient during the War that this large expenditure is necessary to-day? Surely if the present standard at Rosyth could stand the test of 4½ years of war in the North Sea, we might call a halt to a large expenditure of money this year. Take Singapore, £300,000. That involves further expenditure next year of £397,000 and further expenditure. in coming years. Reference has been made to the "Vernon," and the large expenditure this year on shore establishments in connection with that educational service. Take Glasgow, £140,000, for additional storage accommodation in that district. Gibraltar is the same, and Pembroke and Devonport. I suggest that, judged by the findings of the Geddes Committee, judged by the reality of the situation, judged by the extraordinary economic pressure which is being felt by millions throughout the country to-day, the Admiralty, having a real regard to the long and best interests of the Navy, are not justified in asking the Committee to vote this large sum of money.
There are some people who never remember anything. Let me point out to the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken what occurred in 1914. He says that he does not remember the speeches of the present Prime Minister. I shall not recall any speech of the Prime Minister, but a memorial signed by 100 Liberal Members of Parliament.
I did not sign it.
But 100 Members of the. hon. Gentleman's party signed it, and presented it to the Government in January, 1914, requesting that the expenditure on the Navy should be reduced. That shows the utter folly of attempting to eat down our fighting forces, either the Navy or in the Army. I am not saying that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty or the Civil Lord might not make certain economies. I do not know whether they could or could not. But a general and wholesale cutting down of the defensive forces of the Crown is absolutely suicidal and has been always wrong. Every single Member of the Radical party who in the years before the War voted for a reduction in the expenditure on Army and Navy stands convicted of having caused loss of life to an immense number of people, which life might have been saved if they had taken the patriotic course instead of endeavouring to reduce the duty on tea by 2d. and gaining a few votes from people who do not understand the subject. The hon. Gentleman says there may not be any war in the future. How does he know. It was only a few days ago that the Prime Minister at Genoa stated that the situation was extremely serious. I do not always attach much importance to the statements of the Prime Minister. No one knows whether or not there may he war.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.
That statement has been proved to be true throughout generations. Nothing could be more suicidal or foolish than to endeavour to cut down our defence forces. No one has realised more than I the necessity for economy, and no one has preached it more often than I have done. But there is a foolish economy and a wise economy, and it is a foolish economy so to reduce defensive forces that, should war unfortunately come, you have to spend millions in preparing, when you might have spent far less had your defensive forces been in proper condition. I leave out of consideration the advantage to the country of being disciplined.
That has nothing to do with works and buildings.
I was answering the hon. Gentleman opposite, because I thought it was necessary to expose the fallacies with which he was attempting to enlighten the Committee.
I had no intention of intervening in the Debate, because the, subject in which I am more specially interested will come up for discussion when another Vote is before us. I will make only one comment on the speech of the hon. Member for Greenock (Sir G. Collins). I suppose that when his speech is reproduced in the newspapers to-morrow, he will be credited as an apostle of economy. But I wish to point out that in his whole speech there was not a single point of criticism which he attempted to prove. He spoke in general terms of extravagance and made a reference to the Geddes Committee, but he did not attempt to prove a single point that he tried to make. It is true he made reference to Rosyth, and if the rest of the speech is to be tested by the nature of his reference to Rosyth, I do not think it is a speech that will either do him much credit, or will be of much importance to this Committee. He asked, Did Rosyth fail us during the War? He also asked why, if it stood all the turmoil and all the storm and stress of four and a half years of War in the North Sea., we should spend money upon it to-day? Does he know anything about Rosyth? Does he know that Rosyth to-day, whatever may be its future, is still an incomplete dockyard? What its possibilities may be I cannot foretell. I do not profess to have any knowledge of strategy, but I do think a little common sense might be applied to discussions of this kind regarding Rosyth. Is the hon. Member for Greenock prepared to see Rosyth fall into disrepair? That would appear to be a strange idea of economy. We have there a dockyard, probably the best-equipped in the whole world, and because the Admiralty, after reducing the staff and reducing expenditure in every possible direction, propose to extend this comparatively small amount on necessary repairs in order to keep this dockyard up to date, my hon. Friend proceeds to lecture, the Committee upon the necessity for economy. I claim to be as much interested as he is in the question of economy and in the reduction of public expenditure, but I suggest that the criticisms which he offers too frequently might have some relevance to the facts and show some degree of proportion and perspective on his part. I shall take occasion on Vote A to deal more fully with Rosyth, merely remarking at this stage that it is impossible to overrate the importance of keeping this dockyard as far as possible in repair, because its possibilities for the future, commercially and otherwise, are very great and should not be lost sight of by the Government.
I do not propose to make a second speech, but I wish to correct a slip I made when I was moving the reduction. I intended to move the reduction in connection with the Pembroke Dockyard, and I said Jamaica by mistake. This is not a reduction on account of Jamaica but on account of Pembroke, which, I contend, has nothing to do with the efficiency of the Navy at all.
It is not easy to answer the hundred and one questions that are fired at one in the course of a Debate of this character, and I hope if I overlook any which have been put to me this evening the.hon. Members concerned will prompt me before I sit down. With regard to the speech made by the hon. Member for Greenock (Sir G. Collins), I think what he said about Rosyth has been adequately answered by the hon. Member for Dunfermline Burghs (Mr. J. Wallace). I only wish the Debate had gone on further, and I think most of the points which have been raised by hon. Members would have been answered by other hon. Members. The hon. Member for Greenock seemed to be very much down upon the Admiralty in general and on this Vote in particular. All I can say is that if every Department had done as well as the Admiralty, bearing in mind the increased expenditure, and had reduced their Estimates to only 26 per cent. above what they were before the War, nobody would have much to complain of in this country, and that is what we have done. The hon. Member went on to criticise, in a very hostile way, the scheme for supplying oil fuel tanks all over the world for the replenishment of our ships which have ceased to use coal and depend upon oil. If we do not have these tanks and oil fuel depots all over the world, it is no use having a Navy. You cannot move a Navy about without oil, and you might as well scrap the Navy altogether if you are not going to give it the means:)f moving about to whatever part of the world you require to send it. The hon. Member concentrated his attention on Aden, Bombay and Suez, and said we had not carried out the recommendations of the Geddes Committee. We have, however, done so, and we have cut down to a very large extent our requirements for oil fuel—so much so, that I think we have almost over-cut, but we certainly have cut down in many cases. We cannot, however, concentrate on cutting in these particular places because this is the most important route to the East, and I hope the Committee will not support the hon. Member in what he is seeking to do.I now come to the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy). I will start at once on the subject of Pembroke Dockyard, and my remarks on this will answer other hon. Members who have spoken. It is quite true that for purely naval purposes we could do without Pembroke, but there are a good many other things to be looked at. Looked at from the national point of view, I do not think it would pay to close up Pembroke. There must be some give and take as between one Department and another in the matter of expenditure for national purposes. You cannot put the different items of expenditure into water-tight compartments. Pembroke is a place which has grown up with the Navy. It has got nothing else to depend upon, and it would be destitute if we turned away from it altogether. When we consider the compensation that must be paid, when we consider that we must look after the established men, and when we consider the out-of-work donations that would have to be paid, I do not know that the country would gain much financially by closing down this yard. Apart from that, work of a purely naval character is being done there which, if not done there, would have to be done somewhere else. It cannot be said we would save the whole amount suggested. We would save a certain amount in overhead expenses, but we would still have to meet the cost of the work and material. To come down to the particular point which has been mentioned, the only expenditure proposed is £1,600. Some hon. Members, have alluded to this as if it were something new. It is nothing of the sort. It is a very old continuation service and we see the end of it this year. We are keeping up Pembroke and we must keep it efficient for the work we want it to do. Further, I would remind hon. Members who wish us to get rid of Pembroke and to see it used one day for commercial purposes, that this expenditure will very much increase the value of Pembroke if ever it is used for those purposes. The case of other dockyards has been gone into and I do not think I need say much about Rosyth. Rosyth we are keeping as a docking base and we have reduced the expenditure enormously because we are not going to have any repairs there. It is because of that I am able to come forward with proposals that show a very great reduction on what we should have had to spend on Rosyth if we used it as a repair base. The hon. Member for Dunfermline Burghs referred to it as an incomplete dockyard, but it never was a dockyard and it is not a dockyard now. Why it was not was because the party then in power, to which the hon. and gallant Member for Hull belongs, refused to spend any money upon it and that proved a very grave menace to us in the Navy when the War broke out.
Who started Rosyth?
They refused to continue it. The hon. and gallant Member went on to ask me about a motor garage at Portsmouth. He spoke of it as if it were a great expense. As a matter of fact we are pooling all the motor service and, as the hon. Gentleman knows, we are quite up to date in having adopted motors instead of other methods of transport. We want a place in which to keep our motors. At present they are rotting in a very inefficient shack and we are asking for this money to build another roof to cover them and protect them. I may inform the hon. Member that as a result of the use of motor transport we are saving £25,000 a year as compared with the old scheme and I think we can well afford to pay for this item. With regard to the "Vernon," it has been on the shore establishment for a very long time. I am not responsible for the "Vernon" ashore and I do not think the hon. Member was questioning the wisdom of building it. I knew the old "Vernon" very well. I went through several courses there myself, but unfortunately she is absolutely rotten through and through and it would cost infinitely more than this to put her right or to provide anything else floating to take her place. Although it may be nice, for old times' sake, to have your training establishment in a ship, it is not really up to date and it is not a sound economy. The establishment on shore may appear expensive now, but of course all building operations are expensive at present, and we are cutting down the cost to the utmost.I think I am now left only with the MN scheme to deal with. I am very glad to be able once more to anticipate the wishes of hon. Members in regard to the question of the abolition of the towers. That is why we are asking for this particular amount of money. The MN scheme was one of the legacies of the War. Fourteen of these towers were left but only two were retained because they had gone to such an advanced stage that we thought we might as well see what could be made of them. The other 12 were demolished. One of these towers as has been pointed out, is in the position of the Nab Light and is being used as a lighthouse. It is also being used in carrying out some experiments, but I hope the Committee will not press me on that point. The tower at Shoreham has been one of the most difficult things with which we have had to deal. We have had meeting after meeting endeavouring to decide how to dispose of it. They will not have it any longer at Shoreham. We have done our utmost to sell it. We have done our utmost to use it for the purpose of giving people an opportunity of surveying the surrounding view. We have tried every means in our power and now we are asking for £17,000 to demolish it as it stands, and I hope we shall hear nothing more about it.
Why not take it out and lose it.
Because it would cost something like £60,000 to get it anywhere. I sat on two or three committees dealing with this matter and I think we considered every possible way of disposing of it and found that this would be the cheapest. As to Jamaica which I think was the last point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull, he brought forward the question of America. This has nothing to do with the question of war with America or war with any country. This is a peace time requirement. It is only to replace coal, and the Fleet must fuel somewhere. In regard to the questions put by the hon. and gallant Member for Shettleston (Rear-Admiral Adair), the first question he asked was about mosquito nets at Bermuda. The medical branch have made very great strides on the question of malaria, and we wish to keep up to date as far as we can in the Navy in regard to these matters. We have had a report on the subject, and we think it is very necessary indeed that we should have this mosquito netting. The other point raised by the hon. and gallant Gentleman was the question of gun mountings at Rosyth, and he asked what these were. They are the guns and the gun mountings for supplying to merchant ships in time of war. At present they are lying all over the country, and a great many of them are deteriorating to an enormous extent and at great cost to this country. We have been in great difficulties in getting a store for these mountings. First of all, we thought of Morecambe, but that was too expensive, and then we thought of a disused airship shed at Howden, but when Rosyth was cut down it was a God-sent opportunity of getting a cheap store, and that is what we are doing. The amount we are asking for is a flea-bite compared with what I asked for last year for Morecambe, and so we have made a very great saving there.My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Maidstone (Commander Bellairs) spoke of Wei-hai-wei and asked why we had a small expenditure of, I think, £500 there, as, owing to the result of the Washington Conference, we are going to hand it back to China. At present we are waiting for a Conference with China on the whole question of Wei-hai-wei and as to money transactions which will no doubt pass between us. I hope we shall have some saving to show there, but in the meantime the Chinese Government have given us permission to use Wei-hai-wei purely for a health and welfare resort. It has been a very great advantage to have somewhere to land ships' parties on that coast, and the money in this Vote a small amount that is going to be expended in that direction. The hon. and gallant Member also asked me about oil, and other hon. Members asked me about the defences for oil. The question of defences was never raised when we had coal, and all I am asking for is oil to replace coal for peace-time requirements. When it comes to war requirements and a strategical reserve, we shall no doubt have to have some protection for them, if indeed they will not be in places where there is some protection for them already. He also asked why we could not rely on mercantile supplies. The reason why we cannot do that is because the mercantile supply is infinitesimal compared with the needs of the British Navy. We want to build up a reserve, in case there is a war, without depending on any mercantile reserves, because we find, when the stress of war comes, that the mercantile people come to us for supplies instead of us going to the mercantile people, and in some places where we shall eventually want a strategical reserve it, is quite impossible to ask any mercantile firm to lock up the big amount they would have to lock up in tanks. My Noble Friend the Member for South Battersea (Viscount Curzon) asked me about Chatham and Sheerness. Of course, we are using Chatham and Sheerness for small ships. He asked about dredging, and it is rather difficult to find out at a moment s notice with any degree of accuracy the cost of dredging, but I give him the figure of nearly £10,000 annual expenditure. With regard to the question of Port Edgar, most of the Noble Lord's criticisms were in regard to money in the Estimates, but here there is no money in the Estimates. Port Edgar is still being used for what it was built for, namely, a destroyer base, and I congratulate my Noble Friend on the fact that there is no expenditure required for Port Edgar.
Not in dredging?
I should not like to say that. I cannot answer that off-hand, as it is quite possible there is some money for dredging there, but we have got dredging lumped together. My Noble Friend asked if the question of cordite could be dealt with in combination with the Army. At present we have not come to any arrangement with the Army, chiefly because we really depend in the Navy on a much higher state of purity than in the Army. My Noble Friend will appreciate the imperative necessity of pure cordite for the safety of our ships, and it is so very important that we should have an absolutely pure cordite, that I have no hesitation in asking the Committee to pass the money for which we are asking in this Vote. All this money that we are spending is directed towards removing impurities, and if we do prevent impurities, it will save the country a lot of money in the long run. If anything is found to go wrong in a batch of cordite, the whole lot is scrapped at great expense, and if you can only get purity in cordite and keep out these little particles that form and set up heat in the cordite itself, a great deal of money can be saved. With regard to the coastguard station mentioned, I will certainly find out about that, but I can hardly believe it is true. We have gone into the whole coastguard question most carefully indeed, and I very much hope, although I will not say anything about it now, because a Committee is sitting, that the people who benefit by the great proportion of the coastguards will bear that proportion. I only hope that may be so, but I do not know what the Committee will report.My Noble Friend suggested providing obsolete ships for oil instead of erecting tanks. All the arguments which can be directed against what have been called in the Committee the gasometer tanks by my Noble Friend and by my right hon. Friend the Member for South Molton (Mr. Lambert) apply equally, of course, to ships. They are one and all liable to attack from submarines or aircraft and we have arrangements in the tanks for retaining the oil if a tank is demolished. I do not want the Committee to run away with the idea that it is easy for these tanks to be set on fire as the oil that we use in the Navy is extremely difficult to set on fire. I do not think, whatever may happen, that aircraft have yet reached the extraordinary accuracy of aim that seems to alarm my right bon. Friend the Member for South Molton, which would make it impossible ever to put an oil tank above ground. We have put tanks below ground at Gibraltar, where we bored into the rock itself, but if we tried to do this everywhere it would cause enormous expenditure, and it would be quite impossible to do so, although, of course, it would be very much better. To go back to the question of obsolete ships, these ships are not adapted to hold oil, and we have to go through a very difficult process to make ships capable of holding oil. I have got figures which I will not go into now, but they show that to alter a ship for this purpose costs a very great deal. I think most of the
Division No. 117.]
|Adair, Roar-Admiral Thomas B S.||Bromfield, William||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)|
|Adamson, Rt. Hon. William||Cairns, John||Edwards, C. (Monmouth, Bedwellty)|
|Armitage, Robert||Cape, Thomas||Edwards, G. (Norfolk, South)|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry||Child, Brigadier-General Sir Hill||Finney, Samuel|
|Banton, George||Clynes, Rt. Hon. John R.||Foxcroft, Captain Charles Talbot|
|Barker, G. (Monmouth, Abertillery)||Cockerill, Brigadier-General G. K.||Galbraith, Samuel|
|Barnes, Rt. Hon. G. (Glas., Gorbals)||Collins, Sir Godfrey (Greenock)||Gillis, William|
|Barton, Sir William (Oldham)||Conway, Sir W. Martin||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Bellairs, Commander Carlyon W.||Cowan, D. M. (Scottish Universities)||Graham, W. (Edinburgh, Central)|
|Benn, Captain Wedgwood (Leith)||Curzon, Captain Viscount||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)|
|Birchall, J. Dearman||Davies, Evan (Ebbw Vale)||Grundy, T. W.|
other questions asked by my right hon. Friend the Member for South Molton have been answered in the course of my remarks, and the shore establishment question which he raised was answered very ably by my Noble Friend the Member for South Battersea, who followed me in the Debate and who explained that it was not possible to give any form of intensive training on board ship. The police houses at Rosyth are really at Bandeath, and I think he has made a mistake. He also referred to the question of the Metropolitan Police. Some time or other we are coming to the House with a scheme for substituting a much cheaper form of police. I think we shall have Marine pensioners, and that will save the country a great deal of money, although in some cases we must retain the Metropolitan Police. My right hon. Friend complained about the houses being built. Of course we shall want those houses, whoever forms the new police force, and these houses are being built to 'house the policemen who will protect the new ammunition centres.
I thank the hon. and gallant Gentleman for the very full answers he has given to all the questions, but it is not quite clear why £17,000 is required to break up these costly towers, or the one remaining now. Why did we go on with these after the Armistice, spending £1,000,000 on them, and then asking for another £17,000 for the purpose of undoing the work put into them?
We spent 1,000,000 on building two, and one, of course, is in use; but most of that money was spent in demolishing the other 12.
Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £3,482,000, be granted for the said Service."
The Committee divided: Ayes, 87; Noes, 215.
|Guest, J. (York, W. R., Hemsworth)||Lowther, Major C. (Cumberland, N.)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Murray Fraser|
|Hall, F. (York, W. B., Normanton)||Lyle-Samuel, Alexander||Sutton, John Edward|
|Hallas, Eldred||Macdonald, Rt. Hon. John Murray||Swan, J. E.|
|Halls, Walter||Maclean, Rt. Hon. Sir D. (Midlothian)||Thomas, Rt. Hon. James H. (Derby)|
|Harmsworth, Hon. E. C. (Kent)||McMicking, Major Gilbert||Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton, E.)|
|Hartshorn, Vernon||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Walsh, Stephen (Lancaster, Ince)|
|Hayday, Arthur||Malone, C. L. (Leyton, E.)||Waterson, A. E.|
|Hayward, Evan||Molson, Major John Elsdale||Watts-Morgan, Lieut.-Col. D.|
|Hirst, G. H.||Murray, Dr. D. (Inverness & Ross)||Wedgwood, Colonel Josiah C.|
|Hodge, Rt. Hon. John||Myers, Thomas||White, Charles F. (Derby, Western)|
|Hogge, James Myles||Newman, Colonel J. R. P. (Finchley)||Williams, Col. P. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Holmes, J. Stanley||Parkinson, John Allen (Wigan)||Wilson, Rt. Hon. J. w. (Stourbrdge)|
|Irving, Dan||Rattan, Peter Wilson||Wintringham, Margaret|
|John, William (Rhondda, West)||Richardson, R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Wolmer, Viscount|
|Johnstone, Joseph||Roberts, Frederick O. (W. Bromwich)||Young, Robert (Lancaster, Newton)|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Robertson, John|
|Kennedy, Thomas||Royce, William Stapleton||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Kenyon, Barnet||Smith, W. R. (Wellingborough)||Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy and|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Spoor, B. G.||Major McKenzie Wood.|
|Lawson, John James|
|Agg-Gardner, Sir James Tynte||Gibbs, Colonel George Abraham||Marks, Sir George Croydon|
|Amery, Leopold C. M. S.||Gilbert, James Daniel||Martin, A. E.|
|Armstrong, Henry Bruce||Gilmour, Lieut.-Colonel sir John||Matthews, David|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick W.||Glyn, Major Ralph||Middlebrook, Sir William|
|Bagley, Captain E. Ashton||Goff, Sir R. Park||Mitchell, Sir William Lane|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Gould, James C.||Mond, Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred Moritz|
|Balfour, George (Hampstead)||Green, Albert (Derby)||Montagu, Rt. Hon. E. S.|
|Banner, Sir John S. Harmood-||Green, Joseph F. (Leicester, W.)||Moreing, Captain Algernon H|
|Barlow, Sir Montague||Greene, Lt.-Col. Sir W. (Hack'y, N.)||Morrison, Hugh|
|Barnston, Major Harry||Greenwood, William (Stockport)||Munro, Rt. Hon. Robert|
|Bartley-Denniss, Sir Edmund Robert||Gregory, Holman||Neal, Arthur|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Greig, Colonel Sir James William||Newman, Sir R. H. S. D. L. (Exeter)|
|Benn, Sir A. S. (Plymouth, Drake)||Hacking, Captain Douglas H.||Newson, Sir Percy Wilson|
|Bird, Sir R. B. (Wolverhampton, W.)||Hailwood, Augustine||Nicholl, Commander Sir Edward|
|Boscawen, Rt. Hon. Sir A. Griffith-||Harmsworth, C. B. (Bedford, Luton)||Nicholson, Brig.-Gen. J. (Westminster)|
|Bowyer, Captain G. W. E.||Hayes, Hugh (Down, W.)||Nicholson, Reginald (Doncaster)|
|Bramsdon, Sir Thomas||Henderson, Lt.-Col. V. L. (Tradeston)||Nicholson, William G. (Petersfield)|
|Breese, Major Charles E.||Hennessy, Major J. R. G.||Nield, Sir Herbert|
|Bridgeman, Rt. Hon. William Clive||Hills, Major John Waller||Norman, Major Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Briggs, Harold||Hinds, John||Ormsby-Gore, Hon. William|
|Broad, Thomas Tucker||Hoare, Lieut.-Colonel Sir S. J. G.||Pain, Brig.-Gen. Sir W. Hacket|
|Bruton, Sir James||Hohler, Gerald Fitzroy||Parker, James|
|Buchanan, Lieut.-Colonel A. L. H.||Hood, Sir Joseph||Pearce, Sir William|
|Buckley, Lieut.-Colonel A.||Hope, Sir H. (Stirling & Cl'ckm'nn, W.)||Pease, Rt. Hon. Herbert Pike|
|Butcher, Sir John George||Hope, Lt.-Col. Sir J. A. (Midlothian)||Pennefather, De Fonblanque|
|Carew, Charles Robert S.||Hopkins, John W. W.||Pollock, Rt. Hon. Sir Ernest Murray|
|Carr, W. Theodore||Hopkinson, A. (Lancaster, Mossley)||Pratt, John William|
|Carter, H. A. D. (Man., Withington)||Hotchkin, Captain Stafford Vere||Purchase, H. G.|
|Casey, T. W.||Hudson, R. M.||Raeburn, Sir William H.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hume-Williams, Sir W. Ellis||Rees, Sir J. D. (Nottingham, East)|
|Chamberlain, N. (Birm., Ladywood)||Hunter, General sir A. (Lancaster)||Renwick, Sir George|
|Cheyne, Sir William Watson||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer||Richardson, Sir Alex, (Gravesend)|
|Chilcot, Lieut.-Com. Harry W.||Hurst, Lieut.-Colonel Gerald B.||Richardson, Lt.-Col. Sir P. (Chertsey)|
|Clough, Sir Robert||Inskip, Thomas Walker H.||Roberts, Rt. Hon. G. H. (Norwich)|
|Cohen, Major J. Brunel||Jackson, Lieut.-Colonel Hon. F. S.||Roberts, Samuel (Hereford, Hereford)|
|Colvin, Brig.-General Richard Beale||Jephcott, A. R.||Roberts, Sir S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)|
|Coote, Colin Reith (Isle of Ely)||Jesson, C.||Robinson, S. (Brecon and Radnor)|
|Cope, Major William||Jodrell, Neville Paul||Robinson, Sir T. (Lanes, Stretford)|
|Craig, Captain C. C. (Antrim, South)||Jones, Sir Evan (Pembroke)||Rodger, A. K.|
|Davies, Alfred Thomas (Lincoln)||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Royds, Lieut.-Colonel Edmund|
|Dawson, Sir Philip||Jones, J. T (Carmarthen, Llanelly)||Samuel, A. M. (Surrey, Farnham)|
|Dewhurst, Lieut.-Commander Harry||Kellaway, Rt. Hon. Fredk, George||Samuel, Samuel (W'dsworth, Putney)|
|Doyle, N. Grattan||Kidd, James||Sassoon, Sir Philip Albert Gustave D.|
|Du Pre, Colonel William Baring||King, Captain Henry Douglas||Scott, Sir Leslie (Liverp'l, Exchange)|
|Edge, Captain Sir William||Kinloch-Cooke, Sir Clement||Scott, Sir Samuel (St. Marylebone)|
|Edwards, Major J. (Aberavon)||Larmor, Sir Joseph||Seddon, J. A.|
|Edwards, Hugh (Glam., Neath)||Lewis, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Univ., Wales)||Seely, Major-General Rt. Hon. John|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter E. (Lanark)||Lewis, T. A. (Glam., Pontypridd)||Sharman-Crawford, Robert G.|
|Evans, Ernest||Lindsay, William Arthur||Shaw, William T. (Forfar)|
|Eyres-Monsell, Com. Bolton M.||Lister, Sir R. Ashton||Shortt, Rt. Hon E. (N'castle-on-T.)|
|Falcon, Captain Michael||Lloyd, George Butler||Simm, M. T.|
|Falle, Major Sir Bertram Godfray||Lloyd-Greame, Sir P.||Smith, Sir Malcolm (Orkney)|
|Fell, Sir Arthur||Lorden, John William||Smithers, Sir Alfred W.|
|FitzRoy, Captain Hon. Edward A.||Lowther, Maj.-Gen. Sir C. (Penrith)||Stanley, Major Hon. G. (Preston)|
|Foot, Isaac||Loyd, Arthur Thomas (Abingdon)||Stanton, Charles Butt|
|Forestier-Walker, L.||Lyle, C. E. Leonard||Steel, Major S. Strang|
|Forrest, Walter||Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)||Stephenson, Lieut.-Colonel H. K.|
|Fraser, Major Sir Keith||Mackinder, Sir H. J. (Camlachie)||Stevens, Marshall|
|Fremantle, Lieut.-Colonel Francis E.||M'Lean, Lieut.-Col. Charles W. W.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Gange, E. Stanley||Macpherson, Rt. Hon. James I.||Strauss, Edward Anthony|
|Ganzoni, Sir John||Magnus, Sir Philip||Sturrock, J. Leng|
|Gee, Captain Robert||Manville, Edward||Sugden, W. H.|
|Sykes, Sir Charles (Huddersfield)||Wallace, J.||Wood, Hon. Edward F. L. (Ripon)|
|Taylor, J.||Walters, Rt. Hon. Sir John Tudor||Wood, Sir J. (Stalybridge & Hyde)|
|Terrell, George (Wilts, Chippenham)||Walton, J. (York, W. R., Don Valley)||Yate, Colonel Sir Charles Edward|
|Thomas, Brig.-Gen. Sir O. (Anglesey)||Ward, Col. J. (Stoke-upon-Trent)||Yeo, Sir Alfred William|
|Thomas, Sir Robert J. (Wrexham)||Ward, William Dudley (Southampton)||Young, E. H. (Norwich)|
|Thomson, F. C. (Aberdeen, South)||Weston, Colonel John Wakefield||Young, Sir Frederick W. (Swindon)|
|Thomson, Sir W. Mitchell- (Maryhill)||White, Col. G. D. (Southport)||Young, W. (Perth & Kinross, Perth)|
|Thorpe, Captain John Henry||Williams, C. (Tavistock)||Younger, Sir George|
|Tickler, Thomas George||Willoughby, Lieut.-Col. Hon. Claud||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Tryon, Major George Clement||Winterton, Earl||Colonel Leslie Wilson and Mr.|
|Waddington, R.||Wise, Frederick||McCurdy.|
Original Question put, and agreed to