§ Mr. BELLAIRS
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that official statements have been made that we shall have 40 efficient pre-"Dreadnought" ships in 1912; whether of these the nine "Majesties" and six "Oceans" are unarmoured for something like half their water-line; and whether there is any essential difference between the unarmoured ends of these vessels in vulnerability and those of the "Admiral" class of battleships, which the Admiralty in 1905 described as vulnerable to the six-inch guns of a second-class cruiser?
§ Mr. McKENNA
The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The statement in the second part of the question is correct for the "Majestic" class, but not correct for the "Ocean" class. The reply to the last part of the question is that the unarmoured ends where they exist are as vulnerable as those in the "Admiral" class, but in the latter class the proportion of the waterline that is unarmoured is very much greater than in the "Majestic" class.