asked whether there are any British warships, except the sloops "Algerine" and "Shearwater," stationed between the Behring Straits and the most southern extremity of the whole of the American Continent for the protection either of British commerce at sea or of the lives and property of British subjects on shore?
No other vessels are stationed there permanently, but the Pacific coast of America is visited occasionally when thought necessary by ships from the China or Australian stations.
May I ask how long it would take to put first-class cruisers which would provide adequate protection for British subjects in time of trouble in these waters?
It depends where the first-class cruisers found themselves at the moment.
Suppose they were in the China station or had to be sent from the Mediterranean or Atlantic?
If the hon. Member would give me notice of that question I could measure the distancs.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he considers one of the occasions has now arisen for him to consider it desirable to transfer some of those ships from Chinese waters?
The Admiralty will be advised on the point by the Foreign Office, and any request made to the Admiralty by the Foreign Office will be, I can assure the hon. Members, complied with.