§ MR. GOURLEY (Sunderland)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the French Squadron now in the Baltic is to visit Portsmouth on the 20th August; and whether the visit is due to an invitation from any competent authority; if so, will the arrangements for the reception be on a scale similar to that accorded to the French Fleet which visited Portsmouth in 1865?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Lord G. HAMILTON, Middlesex, Ealing)
I understand that the French Squadron will visit Portsmouth on their return from Cronstadt about the date named. This visit is spontaneous on the part of the French Fleet, and is no doubt prompted by the pleasant recollection of the recent interchange of visits in the Mediterranean between the French and English Fleets stationed there. Arrangements will therefore be made on a commensurate scale to mark the exchange of international civilities, the opportunity for which the proposed visit will afford.