HC Deb 30 October 1908 vol 195 c635

To ask the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that the Admiralty stated in the House on 23rd July, 1903, in answer to a Question, that the average time that had elapsed in recent years between the date of the announcement of the naval programme to Parliament and the laying down of any of the battleships comprised in that programme had been about ten months, but that the Board of Admiralty considered that it is not desirable that these long intervals should continue to occur, and it was their desire to return to the system under which the laying down of vessels proposed in any year shall follow closely upon Parliamentary sanction being received; and, in view of the fact that this financial year two armoured ships are to be laid down eleven and twelve months respectively after the announcement of the programme, can he see his way to laying them down at an earlier date, as is being done with a number of small cruisers and destroyers.

(Answered by Mr. McKenna.) The large ships will be laid down at the earliest moment the preparation of the designs permits.