HC Deb 22 October 1908 vol 194 cc1341-2
MR. MENZIES (Lanarkshire, S.)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty what was the annual cost to the British taxpayer of the ships of the Imperial Navy in Australian and New Zealand waters, including pay and allowances, victualling, etc., as well as repairs, stores, and depreciation, during the years 1905–6, and 1906–7; what was the amount of the subsidies received from these Colonies, during these two years; and what saving will there be upon that net annual cost when the local flotilla proposed by Mr. Deakin for the Australian Commonwealth, and costing £346,000 per annum, as outlined by the Admiralty 20th August, 1908 [Cd. 4325], is in actual existence.


The cost of maintaining His Majesty's ships in Australian and New Zealand waters during the years 1905–6, and 1906–7, under the heads specified in the hon. Member's Question, was respectively, £514,500, and £607,000. The subsidies from the Australian Commonwealth and New Zealand in respect of the period in question, amounted to £240,000 for each year. It is not possible to state what saving there may be if the scheme proposed by Mr. Deakin be carried out, as this will depend upon the circumstance and requirements at the time.


Can the right hon. Gentleman state whether any definite agreement has been come to between His Majesty's Government and the Government of the Commonwealth with regard to naval affairs in Australia?


replied that he thought the hon. Member had seen a copy of some correspondence on the subject. He had nothing to add to that correspondence at the moment.


Then an agreement has not yet been finally and definitely come to?


I think at the present moment we are waiting to hear further from the Australian Government on the subject.