§ MR. BAKER (Portsmouth)
On behalf of my hon. Colleague in the representation of Portsmouth I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if it is in contemplation that Southampton, in place of Portsmouth, should in future he the port of embarkation and debarkation of troops going to and returning from India; and whether it is definitely settled that the Government troopships hitherto used for this service are to be laid aside?
THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Sir U. KAY-SHUTTLEWORTH,) Lancashire, Clitheroe
Three of the four Indian troopships will not run after the close of the present trooping season. The Malabar will continue to run from Portsmouth. Negotiations as to the future system of trooping for India are now proceeding between the Admiralty and India Office. Pending a decision on that subject temporary arrangements will be made for hired ships, which will probably be fitted at Southampton. The question whether that shall also be the port at which the hired ships will for the time embark troops is now under consideration.