§ MR. GOURLEY (Sunderland)
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, The nature and object of the manœuvres in which the Reserve and Channel Squadrons are to be engaged during the coming autumnal cruising, and where the manœuvres are to be conducted; and, how many men of the Coast Guard and Naval Reserves are to be embodied; together with the number and description of torpedo craft that are to accompany the squadrons?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. HIBBERT) (Oldham)
The Reserve Squadron which has assembled at Portland will proceed to Berehaven to carry out torpedo mining exercises, afterwards sailing for the Coast of Spain and returning to England about the end of July. The Channel Squadron will, during the present month, be engaged in the neighbourhood of Portland on exercises of the usual character, especially in connection with a flotilla of torpedo boats. At the beginning of next month the Squadron will proceed 1847 to Queenstown and Berehaven to carry out torpedo mining operations, and afterwards on a cruise terminating at Milford Haven about the middle of August. It is contemplated to employ the Squadron for a few days in connection with the Army in operations illustrative of the attack and defence of harbours. The number of Coastguardsmen embodied for the cruise is 1,647, and there are eight officers of the Naval Reserve. The Admiralty have not yet decided on the composition of the torpedo flotilla to accompany the Squadron.
§ COMMANDER BETHELL (York, E.R., Holderness)
asked, whether the Admiralty would consider the desirability of relying entirely upon the resources of the Fleet for the mining operations, without preconcerted assistance from the Dockyards?
§ MR. HIBBERT
, in reply, said, they would be very glad to give every consideration to that, and he had no doubt that that was the intention.