HC Deb 16 March 1885 vol 295 cc1242-3

asked the Secretary of State for War, If it is his intention to make any proposals to the House for improvements in the seaward defences of Portsmouth, Plymouth, Malta, and Gibraltar, which are stated, on the authority of the First Lord of the Admiralty, to have been under his consideration for some months past?


It will, probably, be more convenient to state fully the views of the Government upon the subject of the defences of the military and naval stations at home and abroad when the Annual Statement on the Army Estimates is made. I may state, however, in reply to the right hon. Gentleman, that a certain limited amount has been annually devoted to the improvement of the defences of the military ports; and we have recently, as stated by the First Lord of the Admiralty, had under our consideration proposals for providing for their more rapid completion. It is necessary, however, to look at the question of the defences of the Empire as a whole; and the protection of some of the Colonial coaling stations is considered, at present, to be the most urgent service. Having regard to the heavy demand on the War Department for armaments for the Navy and for the coaling stations, it is not probable that we shall make any large proposals for the military ports in the present Session.


said, he would give Notice to call attention to the subject on going into Committee.