HC Deb 12 April 1888 vol 324 cc1050-1
ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, When the controversy with the Indian Government on the question of the payment of the cost of construction of the proposed new dock at Bombay will be brought to an end, and the dock itself taken in hand as promised last Session, and as has been strongly recommended by successive Naval Commanders-in-Chief on the Indian Station during the last ten years as a vital necessity for the Fleet; and, whether, if the two Departments cannot agree to divide the cost of construction between the Imperial and Indian Governments, he will be pleased to refer the question for arbitration to a Naval Member of Parliament for prompt and decisive settlement?


I can assure the hon. and gallant Gentleman that the Admiralty are fully alive to the importance of bringing the negotiations on the subject of the proposed Navy Dock at Bombay to a termination; and with this object it has been agreed that a Conference shall be held as soon as can be arranged between Representatives of the Departments concerned, the difference being not as to the necessity for a dock, but as to its dimensions, the Navy requiring a depth and width in excess of commercial wants. The extra requirements of the Navy entail a large additional expenditure, and the apportionment of that outlay is not easy of adjustment. The hon. and gallant Gentleman suggests that the question be referred to a Naval. Member of Par- liament; and though I am much obliged for his kindly offer of personal assistance, as the decision involves expenditure and taxation it must be left to those who are personally responsible for such matters.