§ MR. NIELD (Middlesex, Ealing)
To ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether, prior to Christmas, the ships of all fleets in Home waters dispersed to their respective ports to give Christmas leave; and whether any organised fleet of battleships, cruisers, and destroyers is kept fully manned ready to proceed to sea at the shortest possible notice.
(Answered by Mr. Edmund Robertson.) The Answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative, except that the Channel Fleet remained at Portland and gave Christmas leave from there. In regard to the second part of the Question, it is obvious that whenever leave is given from a fleet it must be temporarily under-manned,
§ but arrangements are made to recall the men on leave by telegram if required.