HC Deb 02 July 1896 vol 42 cc521-2
*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether it would be possible to inform the House on how many days in the course of any given year the Mediterranean Squadron, or divisions of it, have been at sea as fleets?

THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. G. J. GOSCHEN,) St. George's, Hanover Square

The information suggested by the right hon. Baronet could not be extracted from the Journals of the Commander-in-Chief without much labour and trouble. I can assure the right hon. Member that the Admiralty are quite satisfied that the Mediterranean Fleet is sufficiently and thoroughly exercised and tested at sea by the Commander-in-Chief, who, with his whole squadron, makes yearly two cruises extending over several months; in addition to which, for the remainder of the year, a division of the Fleet has been continuously employed in cruising. During the last 12 months, I should add, the movements of the Fleet have necessarily been much influenced by considerations of foreign policy.