HC Deb 18 February 1898 vol 53 c1051

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can see his way to placing a training-ship for boys at Belfast Lough, in view of the magnificent recruiting ground there is at Belfast for engineers, artificers, and stokers and seamen, who could be received on board such a ship; and whether he is aware that at present anyone wishing to join the Navy at Belfast is obliged to go over to Scotland for the purpose, as is shown by the Admiralty advertisements in the Belfast papers?

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

No, Sir, I do not see my way to place a, training-ship for boys at Belfast Lough. Boys recruited in any part of Ireland go to the training ship Black Prince, stationed at Queenstown, not to Scotland. The number of stationary training-ships are ample for the requirements of the Navy, and it is not proposed to increase them. As regards artisan ratings, special efforts have been made quite recently to recruit artisan ratings at Belfast, with very little result. The whole question of recruiting, however, is under present consideration, and some methods have already been introduced which have been very successful.