§ MR. SCHWANN (Manchester, N.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he has had his attention drawn to the opinions of Royal Engineer officers and other experts, in condemnation of the sites upon which the two batteries already constructed for the defence of the harbour of Colombo (Ceylon) have been located; whether, in view of that condemnation, the War Department will delay the further construction of similar works until such time as (be new harbour extensions resolved upon have been so far proceeded with as to enable a correct judgment to be formed as to the best positions in which such new batteries should be placed to ensure the defence of the harbour; and whether the War Department will send out qualified officers, independently of the present staff at Colombo, to consider the whole subject of these defences, and to report upon the alleged unsatisfactory position of the sites already occupied and of those proposed?
§ * MR. CAMPBELL- BANNERMAN
No Reports condemnatory of the sites on which batteries have been erected at Colombo have been brought to my notice. The sites are the best available, taking into account the other necessities of the Colonial Government in the locality, and they are sufficient for the defence of the harbour. The harbour extensions may, perhaps, involve some readjustment, but I see no present occasion for any special inquiry.