§ Mr. MIDDLEMORE (for Mr. Meysey-Thompson)
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has read the book styled "The Truth about the Navy" which was issued by Admiralty Order to the men's libraries on His Majesty's Fleet in 1906; whether he is aware that it contains matter of a political character, also sentiments with regard to a friendly nation that might cause irritation; whether he is aware that it contains statements that amount to a defence of Admiralty policy, on which there has been much public controversy; and whether, looking to the fact that these books have been issued to some fleets and not to others, he will order the immediate recall of all these books from the ships' libraries of all the vessels in the Navy?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I believe I read the paper-bound pamphlet referred to in the question two or three years ago, but I have not seen it since, and I am unable to recollect whether it "contains matter of a political character or sentiments with regard to a friendly nation which might cause irritation." As I have no reason to doubt that the title of the pamphlet accurately represents its contents, the statements therein would amount to a defence of Admiralty policy. I do not think the matter is of sufficient importance to justify a consideration of the question whether it should be recalled from ships' libraries.