HC Deb 21 February 1902 vol 103 cc736-7

There has been a considerable improvement in the machinery of the dockyards. Every hon. Member who knows anything about ship construction is aware how absolutely essential it is that we should be abreast of the modern movement with regard to our machinery, That we are abreast of the modern movement of machinery would be too much so say. A country with a long history in the building up of its Navy step by step cannot always be abreast of every improvement because that means the discarding of so much material already installed in our dockyards. But I can give this assurance to the House. There has been a steady and rapid improvement in the efficiency of the machinery of the dockyards, and that improvement is continuing. We are modernising at a rapid rate the machinery necessary for the purpose of the ships. In this connection I should like to mention that following the precedent set, I think, almost in advance of any other department, the Admiralty has endeavoured to increase the amount of standardising in the work undertaken, which will enormously relieve the situation and tend not only to great accuracy in the work produced but to a far greater interchangeability in time of war. This is a matter of very great importance.