§ MR. DE LISLE (Leicestershire, Mid)
asked the Secretary of State for War, What measures he proposes to take to secure the safety of the coaling harbour at Singapore from now to 1889, whilst its defences are to remain only approximately defended; how he proposes to redeem the bargain made with the Colony in 1884, that the armament then agreed upon should be completed in 1887; whether the colony has fulfilled its part of the bargain, and has already spent £81,000 upon its defences; and, whether the Elswick manufacturers are able to turn out the required guns in half the time, approximately, required by the Woolwich manufacturers; and, if so, why no tender has been made to them?
§ THE SURVEYOR GENERAL OF ORDNANCE (Mr. NORTHCOTE) (Exeter)
(who replied) said: The Colony of Singapore has fulfilled its part of the contract for the security of the Colony, and there will be no unnecessary delay in the fulfilment of the Imperial share. In the meantime, although the defences of Singapore are not absolutely complete, they are very strong, and leave no practical doubt as to the safety of the coaling station. The two guns which will not be completed in 1887-8 are being made at Elswick.