§ 8. Mr. ASHLEY
asked whether the sixteen British armoured ships described as building in the 1912 Return of Fleets only thirteen were under construction at the date to which the Return was completed, namely, 31st March last, and that one has not yet been laid down; whether in the case of foreign ships authorised but not laid down at the date of the Return a note is appended to that effect; and why this was not done in the case of British ships in a similar condition?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The three ships referred to are contract ships, the "Ben-bow," "Delhi," and "Tiger." The two first were ordered before the 31st March; the third ship, the "Tiger," was ordered on 3rd April, and will, it is expected, be laid down this week. It was anticipated, when the Return was prepared, that all three ships would have been ordered before the 31st March. The date of laying down does not affect the contract obligations.