§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty if his attention has been called to the statement of Mr. Deakin that the Australian Government had got no reply of any sort from His Majesty's Government in reference to the proposals of Australia as to naval affairs, and that it had never been pointed out to Australia that her naval scheme was complex or required amplification; whether His Majesty's Government intended to offer Australia an alternative naval scheme; and whether, in view of the anxiety felt in the Commonwealth upon the subject, His Majesty's Government would, without loss of time, accept the proposals of Australia as to the establishment of an Australian Navy.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY (Mr. MCKENNA,) Monmouthshire, N.
Communications have passed between the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the Governor-General of the Australian Commonwealth, on the subject of the scheme put forward by the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth Government, and Mr. Deakin has been given to understand that the scheme presents considerable difficulties from the point of view of naval administration. With regard to the second part of the hon. Member's Question, the Admiralty would be content to allow the existing 593 Agreement to run its course. They are ready, however, to advise and assist the Commonwealth Government in regard to any proposals made by them, but, as already stated, these cannot be dealt with without careful deliberation.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN (Worcestershire, E.)
Can the First Lord lay on the Table Papers dealing with this subject?