HC Deb 16 March 1903 vol 119 cc872-3

Pari passu with that diminution, we are making a very large increase, and, I believe, a very effective increase. During the current year we have added four battleships—the "London," the "Venerable," the "Russell," and the "Montagu. Some of them are of a class of battleships which is faster, so far as we know, than any other battleships at present afloat. We have added five first-class armoured cruisers—the "Bacchante," the "Good Hope," the "Drake," the "Leviathan," and the "King Alfred"—two sloops, four torpedo-boat-destroyers, three torpedo boats, six sub-marines, and two ships which merit brief notice. One is the "Assistance," a repair ship which any hon. Member who inspects the vessel will find admirably fitted with all the appliances necessary for repairs to the Fleet in time of war. The other, the "Aquarius," is a distilling ship, the services of which are necessary, because distilled water is now largely called into requisition for water-tube boilers. During the coming year we propose to complete six battleships, eleven armoured cruisers, one second class cruiser, two sloops, four destroyers, eight torpedo boats, and three sub-marines.