HC Deb 08 March 1911 vol 22 c1186

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he would state what ships, if any, the Admiralty contemplate sending to the West Coast of South America; and if he would take the necessary steps to uphold the prestige of the British Navy and see that the ships sent out by the British Government were not inferior in size or power to those sent by the United States of America, Germany, or any other Power?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. McKenna)

The "Kent" and "Challenger" are now on their way to the West Coast of South America. I cannot admit that the prestige of the British Navy depends on the size or power of the ships that may be sent to any particular place on friendly visits.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he is aware that the United States of America contemplate sending another squadron to South America, and that Germany contemplates sending one of its largest cruisers of 19,250 tons register tonnage on a visit, and if he fully realises the importance to the trade and commerce of this country that our ships should be on a par with, if not better, than those of foreign countries?


Yes. I have borne in mind all the points mentioned by the hon Gentleman.