HC Deb 23 October 1902 vol 113 c604
* SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will inform the House what is the date of commencement of work on the latest ship of the 1901 programme, and when the two battleships and two armoured cruisers of the 1902 programme are to be begun.


The orders for the armoured cruisers for the 1901 programme were despatched on the 29th March last, and letters confirming the telegraphic orders were sent to the contracting firms on the 12th April, when the work was proceeded with immediately. As already explained in the House, the date of commencement of these ships was delayed owing to the necessity for improving their protective armour and modifying their boiler installation. One of the battleships of the 1902 programme has been ordered, and work has been commenced upon her on the Clyde. The second ship will be laid down at Portsmouth dockyard as soon as the "Suffolk" is launched, and it is anticipated that the whole of the money voted for the ship for the current year will be expended on her.