HC Deb 18 March 1907 vol 171 cc450-1
MR. BELLAIRS (Lynn Regis)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that the Statement of Admiralty Policy, 30th November, 1905, showed that we had twelve battleships with nucleus crews of two-fifths complement, which complements it was the intention of the Admiralty to increase; and whether he can state, for purposes of comparison, the number of battleships which will have nucleus crews of three-fifth complement and the number with maintenance parties of 10 per cent. of complement provided under the new scheme of distribution.


The Answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. As regards the latter part, the number of battleships of the Home Fleet with 60 per cent. or more of their full complement on board at Portsmouth and Devonport will be seven, and by the end of the year nine; and of Special Service battleships at the same ports thirteen. The suggestion that it was at one time the intention of the Admiralty to increase the nucleus crews of all ships, irrespective of the use to which they would be put in war, is incorrect.


Is the Hon. Gentleman aware that the intention of increasing the nucleus crews was announced in the Cawdor Memorandum?


I think I said so in my Answer.