§ MR. WILLIAM ALLAN (Gateshead)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he can state what stage of construction H.M.S. "Lancaster" is in at present; whether the frames are up to the upper deck; and whether any portion of the protective deck is plated or rivetted yet.
§ *THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. ARNOLD-FORSTER, Belfast, W.)
The "Lancaster" is in frame amidships up to the height of protective deck, and a part of the inner bottom is worked. The frames between protective and upper decks are not erected. Only a small portion of the protective deck plating is in place, and none is yet rivetted.
§ MR. WILLIAM ALLAN
Seeing that the ship is not in a very advanced condition, will the hon. Gentleman not substitute other boilers for those condemned?
§ *MR. ARNOLD-FORSTER
The question involved is not the state of the hull, but the state of the boilers. These are in an advanced stage, and I can assure the House that a change would involve not only a very large expense, but, what is much more important, a very serious delay.