THE MARQUESS OF HARTINGTON
On Monday last my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War was asked a Question of a somewhat similar character with regard to the preparations which, it was stated, were going on at home. My right hon. Friend, with, I think, the general approval of the House, stated that he must, in the interest of the Public Service, decline at present to give any answer to the Question. I think that almost precisely the same considerations apply to the Question which has been asked by the hon. Member for Morpeth. I hope he will believe that it is not from any discourtesy to him that I am unable to give any other reply than that given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War. I have no other reply to make with regard to the similar Question of the right hon. and gallant Member for the Wigtown Burghs (Sir John Hay) which also stands on the Paper.
§ SIR WILFRID LAWSON
I must give my hon. Friend the Secretary to the Admiralty an opportunity of saying whether he will answer my Question or not. It is, Whether he can inform the House of the reason for the preparations and expenditure which are reported to be going on in Her Majesty's Dockyards in connection with the transport of Troops?
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I am not aware of the particular reports to which my hon. Friend refers. The Orontes, which sails to-day, takes out strong drafts of Marines to strengthen 774 the Force in the Mediterranean Fleet; but I may state generally that no unusual expenditure has been incurred in the Dockyards in connection with the transport of troops.