§ MR. H. O. ARNOLD-FORSTER (Belfast, W.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will make the experiment of placing a first-class torpedo-boat in the Ports of London, Liverpool, Bristol, or other suitable place, provided that properly-instructed volunteer crews be found for such boats, and provided that a suitable organisation responsible for the housing, maintenance, etc., of the boat be formed in the port selected?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. G. J. GOSCHEN, St. George's,) Hanover Square
I am aware of the great attention given by my hon. Friend to the question of combining a Volunteer system with the manning of torpedo-boats, but the difficulties which have been placed before me in respect of the execution of such a plan as my hon. Friend has devised are very great, and, as at present advised, I do not see my way to the experiment. It is extremely difficult to meet all the objections which caused the dissolution of the late Naval Artillery Volunteers, and which would not be removed by the substitution of torpedo-boats for gun vessels in their training. In some respects, indeed, the difficulties would be aggravated.