§ MR. CALEB WRIGHT (Lancashire, S. W., Leigh)
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, If his attention has been drawn to a speech delivered in Liverpool on Monday last, on naval defences, by the Secretary to the Admiralty, in which he said—"Admiral Hornby, our foremost Naval Commander," had suggested an increase in our Navy of 144 cruisers, the cost of which was estimated at £33,500,000; and, whether the Government intend to act on the suggestion?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Lord GEORGE HAMILTON) (Middlesex, Ealing)
I have stated more than once, both inside and outside of this House, that the Government have no intention of making such a sudden addition to the Naval Force of this country as is suggested in the Question. If the hon. Gentleman will read the speech delivered by the Secretary to the Admiralty on the occasion to which he alludes, he will find that the policy of the Admiralty is not to indulge in spasmodic shipbuilding, but to pursue a steady and continuous course. The cost of 144 cruisers would, of course, largely depend upon the type adopted; and even at the lowest estimate it would amount to many millions sterling.