HC Deb 11 February 1913 vol 48 cc684-5
14. Mr. ALDEN

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he can make any statement with regard to the speech of Admiral von Tirpitz in the Budget Committee of the Reichstag, especially in respect of the naval situation; and whether he has any information, official or otherwise, as to the ratio of sixteen British ships to ten German ships being regarded as a satisfactory standard for the respective naval fleets?


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what importance he attaches to the statement of Grand Admiral von Tirpitz in the German Reichstag Budget Committee to the effect that his Government is content to acquiesce in the relative superiority in naval strength of 60 per cent. in favour of Great Britain which was claimed by the First Lord last March as being sufficient and satisfactory; and whether the statement now made on behalf of Germany affords ground to hope that the competitive building of the two Powers, so costly to their respective taxpayers, may now cease, and that a proportional reduction of existing fleets corresponding to the 60 per cent. formula may be gradually effected?

The SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)

On behalf of my right hon. Friend the First Lord, and with the concurrence of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I will answer these questions together. It will, he thinks, be better for us to wait till the Estimates are presented, and then to deal with the naval position as a whole. In the meanwhile he desires to give expression to the general feelings of satisfaction aroused by the friendly tone which has characterised the recent German discussions on naval subjects.

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