HC Deb 26 July 1889 vol 338 c1425
ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether he can now state what progress has been made towards the completion of the long promised first class dock at Bombay for ironclads of Her Majesty's Fleet; has the site been selected; has the estimate of cost been approved; if so, what is the amount; and has the contract for its completion been given out; have the Indian Government and the Admiralty come to an agreement as to the portion of the cost of construction to be borne by each; and, if the above questions receive answers in the negative, will he then state the cause of delay in carrying out the recommendations of successive Naval Commanders-in-Chief for the last 15 years, that a dock for first-class battleships should be constructed as a matter of vital necessity, and thus avoid the risk of sending ships in a disabled condition to Malta, distant 4,000 miles, to be docked and repaired, as was done in 1882?


I am sorry to inform the hon. and gallant Admiral that no progress has been made with the dock referred to. A site was selected and estimates made, the cost amounting to £221,000. The Secretary of State in Council offered to contribute a moiety of this sum out of Indian revenues, but this offer has not yet been accepted by the Admiralty. In the meantime the Bombay Port Trust have offered to construct a dock which, in the opinion of the Government of India, will be sufficient to meet all Indian requirements.


Have the Treasury refused to grant the money, or does the fault lay at their door?


I am afraid that that is a question I cannot answer. I have no information.