HC Deb 23 May 1898 vol 58 c396

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty how many British ships of war are now on the West Coast of Africa, and how many more are under orders to proceed to ports upon that coast; for what specific purpose are these ships sent to these ports; whether any representation has been made by France to Her Majesty[...]s Government in consequence of this collection of war vessels at these places at the present time; and whether he can state what was the number of similar ships stationed at or ordered to these same ports two years ago?


I have answered, and am prepared to answer, questions relative to the despatch of particular vessels to different places for the protection of British lives and interests, but I respectfully submit that it is inexpedient that the general distribution and movements of Her Majesty's ships should form the subject of questions and answers in this House.