HC Deb 28 November 1912 vol 44 cc1471-2

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to the statements made by the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Marine, on the 7th November, and on the 16th November, to the Austrian and Hungarian Delegations, respectively, that he had received authority from both the Austrian and Hungarian Governments to provide three "Dreadnoughts" additional to those now building by 1915; and whether he has now received any official information in regard to this matter?


It is the business of one important Department at the Admiralty to follow with continuous attention the developments, actual and prospective, in the naval strength of foreign Powers. All information which relates to this subject is brought to the notice of the Board by the officers responsible. This machinery works constantly and regularly. The attention of my right hon. Friend and that of his naval colleagues was therefore called to the speeches referred to, as reported in the Austrian Press, as well as to other speeches on the same subject. The Austro-Hungarian Minister of Marine stated therein that he had obtained permission to ask in 1915 for the replacement of the "Monarch" class. Further, in his speech of 19th November, to which the hon. Member has not alluded, at the meeting of the Austrian Delegations, which passed the Naval Estimates, he stated that he had failed to obtain any instalment in the Budget for the purpose of replacing the "Monarch" class, which was postponed to a very distant period. Should later developments occur, they will also be noted.