HC Deb 12 July 1897 vol 50 c1601

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty a question of which I have given him private notice—(1) whether he can make any statement as to the spontaneous offer of the Cape Colony to make a contribution to the Royal Navy by the gift of a first-class ironclad unfettered by any conditions; and (2) whether, in view of the fact that no such offer has ever before been made by any self-governing colony, he will consider the propriety of affording the House at the proper time a suitable opportunity of formally thanking the Cape Colony. [Cheers.]


My statement can be very simple. The House may remember that on June 2nd, before the departure of Sir Gordon Sprigg from the Cape, the Cape Assembly passed a resolution by which the Prime Minister was authorised to take provisional steps to arrange some basis of contribution by the colony towards the Imperial Navy. In pursuance of that resolution, Sir Gordon Sprigg called on me on Saturday and made the offer of a contribution on the part of the Cape Colony of the cost of a first-class battleship. [Cheers.] No conditions, except the necessary ratification by the Cape Assembly, were attached to the proposed most public spirited and generous contribution to Imperial defence. In reply to the second part of my hon. and gallant Friend's Question, I will certainly at the proper time consult with my colleagues as to the propriety of affording Parliament a suitable opportunity of formally thanking the Government of Cape Colony. [Cheers]