§ MR. O. C. PHILIPPS (Pembroke and Haverfordwest)
To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if his attention has been drawn to the fact that, according to the Navy Estimates, the "Duke of Edinburgh," which has just been built at Pembroke Dockyard, is costing, exclusive of armaments, about £48,000 less than the 53 sister ship "Achilles," building by Messrs. Armstrong; about £57,000 less than the sister ship "Cochrane," building by the Fairfield Shipbuilding Company; about £60,000 less than the sister ship "Black Prince," building by the Thames Ironworks, and about £75,000 less than the "Natal," building by Messrs. Vickers Maxim; and whether, in view of this saving to the taxpayers, he will consider the question of allocating to Pembroke Dockyard one of the two new ships not yet placed which are included in the Estimates for 1906–7.
(Answered by Mr. Edmund Robertson.) The cost of the "Achilles," "Cochrane," and "Natal" is not directly comparable with that of the "Duke of Edinburgh." as the considerable alteration made in the design of the three former vessels since they were laid down has resulted in an increase over the original Estimate. As there is no sister ship to the "Duke of Edinburgh" building in a Government dockyard, this vessel affords no basis of comparison between the cost of building at Pembroke and at other Government dockyards.