§ CAPTAIN NORTON
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will consider the suggestion recently made by a distinguished naval officer as 948 to re-arming 17 of the 45 vessels in commission or Reserve at present armed with muzzle-loading guns of an obsolete pattern, seeing that the total expense would probably scarcely exceed a million sterling, that our effective naval force would thus be increased, and moreover a saving take place by the reduction of a number of ships which are only nominally effective?
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY
This Question is under the careful consideration of the Admiralty, but it is too large and important to be properly dealt with in reply to a Question across the floor of the House. The Question had better be reserved for some favourable opportunity.