§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON (Middlesex, Ealing)
asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, If he would have any objection to grant a Return showing the number of Gun-boats, Gun-vessels, Sloops, and Corvettes which are now in 372 commission, and which are, in the opinion of the Admiralty, obsolete as Vessels of War; and also the Expenditure which will have to be incurred during the next two years in repairing or refitting vessels which cannot steam ten knots per hour, in order to provide the necessary reliefs?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. HIBBERT) (Oldham)
I trust the noble Lord will not press for the Return asked for in the first part of his Question, as it is extremely difficult to draw the line at the precise stage at which a ship becomes obsolete as a vessel of war. With regard to the second part of the Question, I may state that the list of ships for reliefs, which governs the programme for repairs, has only been arranged for one year. In this repairing programme only one vessel, the Starling, is included, which has a measured mile speed of less than 10 knots—namely, 9.7 knots. This vessel will be refitted and recommissioned at Malta if the estimated cost of her repair, which has not yet been received, is not considered excessive.