§ MR. GOURLEY
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty about what time he intends holding the forthcoming Naval Manœuvres; how many and what type of ships are to be mobilised, and whether it is correct that the date has been postponed owing to many of the vessels having to be longer under repair than anticipated; and whether, with the large addition to the Navy of ocean cruisers, he will consent to extend the scope of the experimental operations to the protection of the leading food and cotton ocean routes, notifying to commanders of British shipping that they will be expected to avoid, as far as practicable, nominal capture by hostile experimental cruisers?
§ * LORD G. HAMILTON
The date of mobilisation will not be communicated to the ports until the last moment. It 76 has not been postponed on account of the unpreparedness of the vessels for commission. Fifty-six ships and 24 torpedo boats will be employed during the manœuvres, comprising 18 battle ships, four belted cruisers, five armoured coast defence ships, 19 unarmoured cruisers, one torpedo depôt ship, and nine small craft, besides torpedo boats. The proposal contained in the last part of the question is not practicable.