HC Deb 27 November 1912 vol 44 cc1240-1
1. Mr. FELL

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, if he will state what men-of-war for the defence of the Empire have been built, or are building, or have been promised, during the last four years by New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and the Malay Slates; and if all these ships are and will be in addition to those voted by Parliament and in addition to the shipbuilding programme deemed sufficient by the Admiralty?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Churchill)

The particulars asked for are as follows:—

New Zealand.

One battle cruiser nearing completion for the Royal Navy.


One battle cruiser and two second class protected cruisers nearing completion, one second class protected cruiser building, three destroyers in commission, and two submarines building—all for the Royal Australian Navy.

South Africa and Canada.

Nil: but the "Niobe" and "Rainbow" have been purchased by Canada.

Malay States.

One armoured ship for the Royal Navy, recently offered and accepted.

None of these vessels affect the forecasts of new construction given by me to the House in March last.


May I ask if, whatever the power standard now is, this is to be clearly in addition to that power standard?


I have dealt with that in the last part of my answer.


This is a matter on which we might be clear. Is it the intention with regard to the Malay armoured ship that it is to be in addition to the programme announced in July last year?


In March last I gave a forecast of the figures of construction which we thought necessary, and I see no reason to modify that at the present time. The Malay ship is in addition to that forecast.


Is the "New Zealand" being completed as quickly as was expected?


Yes, Sir, and considerably faster. She will be completed and on her voyage to New Zealand long before the time she was expected to be ready. She is practically ready to be placed in commission at the present time.