§ SIR E. GOURLEY (Sunderland)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War to what extent the recommendations of Lord Morley's Committee, and that of the late Earl Stanhope, for the better protection of military and mercantile ports have been carried out whether any of the suggestions regarding the stationing of torpedo boats and the 944 utilising of local Volunteers in the management of submarine mines in connection with the commercial harbours enumerated in the Report have yet been adopted; and can he further state at which, if any, of the mercantile ports the submarine mining works for which a considerable sum was voted by Parliament have been completed?
§ MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)
May I ask the right honourable Gentleman before he answers this Question whether he is aware that the Clyde and Glasgow are for all practical purposes in the same defenceless condition as—
§ MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! That is a Question of a specific nature, of which notice should be given.
THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. W. ST. JOHN BRODRICK,) Surrey, Guildford
May I say that that Question has been answered several times already? It has been frequently explained to the House that the difficulty is in getting land. In reply to the Question on the Paper, I have to say that the recommendations of Lord Morley's Committee of 1882, and of that of which the Right Honourable Edward Stanhope was president in 1888, have been generally followed and proceeded with, subject to the modifications which have been introduced from time to time under the further recommendations of the standing Joint Naval and Military Committee, which advises on these matters. The stationing of torpedo boats is a purely naval question. The commercial harbours are fully utilising the local forces for submarine mining purposes. All mercantile harbours which are to be defended by submarine mines are equipped for the purpose.