§ MR. D. A. THOMAS
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War what (if 1256 any) steps are being taken by the Government to make provision for the protection of the coal ports in the Bristol Channel in the event of war?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN, Stirling Burghs)
The Bristol Channel has already a powerful defence in batteries and mine-fields, and provision for a new battery in the neighbourhood of Barry Docks appears in the present Estimates. As money becomes available, some of the armaments will be modernised, but other ports are held to be in more immediate need of protection. I may add that the proximity of the strongly-fortified naval base of Milford Haven confers a security on the Bristol Channel which is wanting in other cases. But the importance of the defence of the ports in question is fully recognised.
§ MR. J. D. BURNIE (Swansea Town)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the associated Chambers of Commerce at their meeting last week unanimously decided that defensive works are required for the protection of the Bristol Channel coal ports?
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
No doubt it is essential to have additional protection for the Severn, but the Severn and its estuary are not nearly so exposed to attack as certain other places round the coast to which we are devoting our attention. The Severn will have its turn when its turn comes.