§ MR. D. JENKINS
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, If it is true, as stated in the "Pall Mall Gazette" of Friday last, that the Director of Naval Construction and a large portion of his staff are actually engaged within the walls of the Admiralty at Whitehall in designing plans for the construction of a powerful ironclad ship for the Argentine Confederation; and, if so, whether, considering the strained relations now existing between that republic and a neighbouring belligerent, such a proceeding is, if not a breach of neutrality, an unfriendly act towards a State with which we are on terms of amity?
§ LORD FRANCIS HERVEY
I rise to Order. This Question involves matter of argument which ought not to be introduced, and particularly as that argument bears prejudicially on the affairs of a State with whom we are on terms of friendship; and still more, especially as far as I am aware, there is not the slightest foundation for the statement involved.
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
There is no truth in the story at all. It was contradicted by The Pall Mall Gazette itself yesterday or the day before.