§ MR. DE LISLE (Leicestershire, Mid)
asked the Secretary of State for War Whether the War Office has been in communication with the Admiralty', in order to arrange for the provision of adequate and localized naval defences at Singapore, until the armaments, agreed upon in 1881 with the Colony to be completed in 1887, are provided; and, whether, if this be impossible, the Government are prepared to hand back to the Colony some part of the capital, together with a fair rate of interest on the £81,000 spent by the Colony, for the years intervening between 1884 and 1889, or such further periods during which, the obligations of the Imperial Government shall remain unfulfilled?
THE SURVEYOR GENERAL OF ORDNANCE (Mr. NOHTHCOTE) (Exeter)
(who replied) said: As it is not admitted that there is any very serious deficiency in the defences of Singapore, the contingency stated in the Question of my hon. Friend does not arise. But, in any case, it would not be desirable for me to explain the nature of the precautions which the Admiralty may think it right to take. With the permission of the House, I will take this opportunity of correcting an error in my reply of the 18th instant on the same subject. I stated then that the two guns which would not be ready for Singapore in 1887-8 were in course of manufacture at Elswick. It appears now that I was inadvertently misinformed, and that though guns for Hong Kong and Aden are being made at Elswick, the two for Singapore are in hand at the Royal Gun Factory.