HC Deb 09 February 1899 vol 66 cc334-5

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, if his attention has been called to a statement that has recently appeared in the English and Continental Press, attributed to M. Lockroy, the French Minister of Marine, in which comparisons are made between the effective power of the English Navy and that of France, and extraordinary value is attached to the performances of a class of submarine torpedo craft now being experimented on in France; and whether the Admiralty do attach any importance to these experiments, or have any intention of adding any such vessels to the British Navy


I have read, and always read, all that is said or is alleged to have been said by the Ministers of Marine of different countries, and accordingly I have read what is reported in the newspapers to have been said by M. Lockroy and also what he is reported to have denied. It would be inexpedient at this stage for me to express the opinion of the Admiralty as to the reported performances of the new submarine boats. With reference to any action which the Board of Admiralty may take, I am not prepared at present to make any statement.