HC Deb 12 May 1908 vol 188 c913
MR. FELL (Great Yarmouth)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty if H.M.S. "Berwick" was manœuvring at the time of her collision with only half her proper complement of officers and three-quarters only of her crew; and, if so, why she was sent to sea so shorthanded.


The exact numbers of the officers and men on board the "Berwick" at the time of the collision was stated in reply to a Question from the hon. Member to the Andover division on the 5th May, and I beg to refer the hon. Member to the Answer then given. The hon. Member is mistaken in suggesting that the ship was short-handed for navigation. A nucleus crew ship is not short-handed except for fighting: for navigation the nucleus crew provides for more than an ample margin.


Is it not the fact that the officers were less than one-half the proper complement of that ship when she was engaged in night manœuvres?


The figures were given to the House the other day. I must ask for notice of any Question in regard to them.