HC Deb 17 June 1907 vol 176 cc142-3
MR. NIELD (Middlesex, Baling)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether the Home Fleet is officially regarded as a reserve fleet or as a fleet ready for immediate action.

SIR BERKELEY SHEFFIELD (Lincolnshire, Brigg)

I beg also to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty how many battleships and cruisers in the Home Fleet are fully manned; and if these ships are granted the full allowance of ammunition for gun practice.


In the Home Fleet six first-class battleships, six armoured cruisers, five other cruisers, forty-eight destroyers, and four first-class torpedo boats, new type, are fully manned and ready for immediate service. The remainder of the Home Fleet can be, and has been, made ready for service within a few hours, except the special-service vessels shown at Page 270 of the Navy List. The Answer to the last part of the Question of the hon. Member for Brigg is in the affirmative.


May I ask whether the "Dreadnought" is one of the battleships alluded to?


Yes, Sir.

MR. ARTHUR LEE (Hampshire, Fareham)

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether these six battleships have a portion of their complement made up of untrained boys?

MR. BELLAIRS (Lynn Regis)

Is it not the fact that one-fifth of the complements of these ships is made up of boys who are sent on board for training purposes?


I must have notice of that Question; but I am informed that they are ready for immediate action.