§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he can explain the circumstances under which, as stated in the Report of the Committee of Public Accounts on the Navy, out of a batch of six new pattern 12-inch guns, on which considerable sums have been paid as instalments, only one, and that eight months in arrear and defective, had been accepted.
The whole question referred to by the right hon. Baronet is still under consideration, and until it is decided what action is to be taken, it is not desirable to make any further statement or explanation. I may add that, so far, no inconvenience to the service has been caused by the delay in question.