HC Deb 06 June 1873 vol 216 cc547-8

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether it has been decided to hold a Naval Review at Spithead on the occasion of the visit of the Shah of Persia to this Country?


Sir, the Shah will be received at Dover by a considerable gathering of iron-clads of the Channel Fleet and the Reserve Fleet, with several other ships; and the demonstration, if I may call it so, at Dover will of itself partake to a certain extent of the nature of a naval review. There will also be a gathering of ships on another day at Spithead. The Shah is expected to go to Portsmouth during his visit to this country, and will have an opportunity of witnessing a large number of men-of-war, and every honour will be done him on that occasion; but there will be no naval review in the strict sense of the word.


said, that being dissatisfied with the answer given by the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Admiralty, he wished to know from him, Whether, as we could not hope to vie with other countries in military displays, or, indeed, in presenting any great spectacle on land, Her Majesty's Government would not think it advisable to signalize the approaching visit of the Shah of Persia by a grand assemblage and review of our Fleet, an element of national strength in which this country was wholly unsurpassed, in some better way during his visit to Portsmouth than the answer just given seemed to indicate? He should like, therefore, to hear from the right hon. Gentleman what was intended to be done in the matter, as it would appear there was to be no naval review.


said, he had not exactly stated that there would be no naval review. There would be a very large gathering of men-at-war at Spit-head, representing what the hon. Member called our "unsurpassed strength," and the Shah would have the opportunity of seeing our most magnificent ships assembled there. He would also have the opportunity, of which he would in all probability avail himself, of going on board some of our largest vessels, and thus observing the power of the naval resources of this country.