HC Deb 04 July 1910 vol 18 c1328

asked if, with the information in the possession of the Admiralty that Germany and Austria would possess twenty-five "Dreadnoughts" in 1913 compared with twenty-seven possessed by Great Britain, or a margin of two, it was still intended to defer the commencement of the five new ships of the new British programme until the end of the present financial year?


We have no information that Germany and Austria-Hungary will possess twenty-five "Dreadnoughts" in 1913. In estimating the British number at twenty-seven, the hon. Member has apparently not taken into consideration the British programme for 1911–1912. It is not, and never has been, the intention to defer the beginning of the five ships of the 1910–1911 programme until the end of the financial year.


Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that he has provided in the present financial year an amount of money equal only to about one-sixth of the cost of one ship?


I am aware of the figures referred to by the hon. Member; but the inference he wishes to draw from them is a mistaken one. In the earlier months of the building of a ship very little is earned, and it is impossible to pay, because the instalments do not become due. As a matter of fact, the ships will be begun long before the end of the financial year.