§ Lord C. BERESFORD
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what is the full complement of His Majesty's ship "Defence"; what complement she commissioned with; whether any men had deserted from the ship since commissioning; and whether a state of discontent existed on board this ship?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
Information as to the complements of His Majesty's ships is confidential and cannot be given. The "Defence" commissioned with practically a full crew, except for a few deficiencies due to cases of sickness in the crew turning over to her. One man and one boy have deserted from the "Defence" since she commissioned. In reply to the last part of the question, full inquiry has been made, and I am able to give an emphatic denial to any such suggestion. The 888 "Defence" has been inspected within the last few days by the Rear-Admiral of the First Division of the Home Fleet, who reports that the ship is in excellent order.