§ MR. J. BRIGG (York, W. R., Keighley)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, whether in view of the declaration of the Secretary to the Admiralty, made on 2nd February, 1887, that a fleet of Royal Naval Reserve Cruisers would be obviously of great national advantage and in a pecuniary sense serve to limit the necessity felt by their Lordships for the construction of fast war vessels, and would be a pecuniary gain to the nation in respect to first cost and a large saving in maintenance, he will take into consideration the desirability of increasing the number of merchant steamers as armed 237 cruisers in preference to permanently increasing our fleet of war vessels?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY
In the general review of requirements of the fleet, the use of subsidised mercantile cruisers has not been left out of consideration, but I am not prepared to diminish the proposals for increasing the number of our cruisers in view of such large plans as the hon. Member suggests.