§ 4 and 5. Mr. MIDDLEMORE
asked (4) whether the present proportion of British to German battleships in full commission in Northern Europe, namely twenty-seven to nineteen, represents the necessary and adequate margin in our favour; and, if so, whether arrangements have been or are being made for the proportionate increase in our Fleets that will be demanded by the increase of the number of German fully- 364 commissioned battleships to twenty-nine as provided by the 1912 Amendment to the Navy Laws; (5) whether, according to present programmes, the number of completed British ships of the "Dreadnought" type in the spring of 1915 will be thirty-five, as compared with a German total of twenty-three; and whether this margin of superiority will be sufficient to permit of an adequate number of the British ships being permanently maintained on foreign stations, particularly in the Mediterranean, where there will be ten battleships belonging to Italy and Austria?
§ C. Mr. KING
asked whether it has been the constant or usual rule of the Admiralty in recent years to maintain in the Mediterranean a certain number of British battleships and other vessels in settled proportion to the ships of other Powers in the Mediterranean; if so, what that proportion has been; and what strength must be in future constantly maintained in or near the Mediterranean to support our diplomatic requirements?
§ 9. Mr. PONSONBY
asked whether, in the disposition of ships in the Mediterranean, any fixed ratio of comparison with the naval strength of other Powers has been adhered to hitherto; and, if so, what has been the ratio?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
These questions would appear more appropriate to the Debates which are expected shortly on naval matters.