§ MR. MENZIES (Lanarkshire, S.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty if he will state the number of men who have lost their lives or been injured, as well as the cost to the country of the ships sunk or disabled during 1907 and this year, which can be attributed solely to mimic night warfare without lights.
§ MR. McKENNA
I will take this opportunity of giving also the information desired by the hon. Member for Faversham and the noble Lord the Member for Horsham, in their Supplementary Questions of May 6th. During 1907, four accidents are known at the Admiralty to have occurred to vessels not carrying lights, involving one injury. During 1908, two accidents have occurred involving the loss of thirty-six lives. The absence of lights cannot, however, be described as the sole cause of any of these accidents. It is not possible to assess the cash value of the loss to the Admiralty arising from these cases. Night manœuvres without lights took place on 146 occasions during 1907 and 1908, the total aggregate of the numbers of ships engaged being 2,299. There were also fourteen occasions on which I have not been able to obtain the names of the ships taking part.