§ Mr. BOWLES
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether H.M.S. "Dreadnought" was commissioned 18 months and 18 days after the day on which the first order for her materials was placed; and, if so, can he state generally the causes which had necessitated the subsequent increase in the total time allowed by the Admiralty for the construction of later ships of a like character?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The period between the date of first order for materials, namely, 11th July, 1905, and 11th December, 1906, the date of commissioning, was 17 months. The time taken in her construction was eceptionally short, due to the fact that she was the first of her class and it was desirable to complete her and test her sea-going qualities and fighting efficiency as soon as possible. To enable this to be done, special efforts had to be made in all branches, and overtime resorted to. The subsequent increase in the total time allowed for the construction of later ships of a like character is due to these ships having been, and being, built under normal conditions, and, as far as practicable, without overtime. The gun-mountings of the "Dreadnought" were, however, ordered at an earlier date (about six months) before the order for the materials.