§ MR. HUNT (Shropshire, Ludlow)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that in 1902 a committee on the Mediterranean station, consisting of Vice-Admiral Prince Louis of Battenburg, Rear-Admiral Charles Briggs, and Captain Madden, with the approval of the then Commander-in-Chief, Sir John Fisher, drew up, after close investigation, the requisite strength of destroyers required on the Mediterranean station in case of war with a foreign nation, which foreign nation has since considerably strengthened its torpedo 463 flotilla; whether he is aware that this committee unanimously recommended forty-eight destroyers as the minimum requirements of the station; and whether, under these circumstances, he can state the reasons which have induced the Government to cut down the number of destroyers on the station from thirty-four in January, 1906, to eleven at the present time.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
The report of such a committee as the hon. Gentleman refers to would be of a strictly confidential character, and not the proper subject of Question and Answer in this House. All that I can say is that the strategical conditions governing the distribution of the Fleet now are not the same as they were in 1902.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the desirability of disclosing all the confidential documents at the Admiralty for the benefit of foreign Powers?