§ SIR SAMUEL WILSON (Portsmouth) (for Mr. BADEN-POWELL.) (Liverpool, Kirkdale)
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether arrangements will be made in order to enable contingents of officers and men of the Royal Naval Reserve and Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers to take part in the Jubilee Naval Review; and, if so, whether it can be arranged that these contingents shall be representative of the 842 different districts of the United Kingdom?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Lord GEORGE HAMILTON) (Middlesex, Ealing)
The Jubilee is to be celebrated by a Naval Review to be held at Portsmouth on July 23, at which Her Majesty has signified her intention to be present. This Review will embrace a large number of battle ships, coast defence vessels, fast cruisers, torpedo boats, and gunboats; and. unlike previous Reviews, will not be merely a pageant, but the prelude to a series of operations at sea to test the efficiency both of men and ships. These operations will comprise the defence of our principal military and commercial ports and the protection of our coasts from the Downs to the north of Donegal Bay, and also the protection of our commerce near the entrance of the Channel; and in carrying them out all precautions will be taken which would be observed in time of war. We shall be glad to associate with these manœuvres a limited number of Naval Reserve men who may wish to volunteer for service on this occasion, to be selected from each district; also a certain number of Royal Naval Artillery Volunteers could be embarked in the coast defence vessels to be employed for the protection of the commercial ports. There will, I imagine, be some difficulty in the men forming these Reserves leaving their regular employment for the time required for the Review and subsequent operations, and there will also be a certain expense in conveying the men from their respective localities; but I hope these are not insurmountable difficulties.
§ MR. ADDISON (Ashton-under-Lyne)
inquired whether Members of the House of Commons would receive an invitation to the Review; and, if so, whether Her Majesty's Government would consider what arrangements would be made for taking them to Portsmouth, and for their accommodation when there?
§ LORD GEORGE HAMILTON
We are still a good way away from the 23rd of July; but if my hon. Friend will put the Question to me a little nearer that time, I have no doubt I shall be able to give him a satisfactory answer.