asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that a Japanese squadron is to visit Rio de Janeiro in honour of the forthcoming exhibition; whether, in view of the withdrawal of the South-east Coast of America squadron and to the importance of the occasion, the Admiralty will reconsider their decision not to send a representative squadron to those waters from Bermuda; and whether he can state what the actual cost would be?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, the Admiralty consider that adequate representation could not be secured by the despatch of a squadron composed of less than two battle cruisers. The cost of this, however, would amount to £50,800, as previously stated on 31st May in answer to the hon. and gallant Member for West Derby. The decision that, under the circumstances, a representative squadron could not be sent was made with much regret.
Do we understand that the Admiralty no longer take the view that trade follows the flag?
Does the £50,000 imply that no money can be spent on fuel on those ships?
No; I understand that the £50,000 represents the additional cost of taking the two battle cruisers away over and above what would have been spent otherwise.