§ MR. MOLLOY
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether at the present time the Admiralty have given orders for, and there are now being built, 12 war-ships, as follows—namely, three at Barrow, two at Liverpool, three at Glasgow, and four at Newcastle; whether no order has been given to the shipbuilders of Ireland since 1887; and if the Admiralty will now distribute its 1464 future orders so as to include Ireland to the extent at least of its taxpaying proportion?
SIR U. KAY-SHUTTLEWORTH
Small vessels of between 200 or 300 tons each are being built as stated. Tenders have been invited on several, including the most recent, occasions from Irish firms. In some instances they have declined to tender, and in others their tenders have not been so favourable as tenders from English or Scotch firms. It would be undesirable either to depart from the customary practice of accepting the lowest favourable tender, or to distribute orders according to districts.