§ 41. Sir J. D. REES
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the British Navy is represented between Aden and Singapore by five cruisers, only one of which exceeds 5,000 tons; whether India's seaborne trade in 1910–11 was valued at over £250,000,000; whether the recognition at The Hague Convention in 1907 of the right of Germany to transform 128 merchantmen specially suited for the purpose, forty-five of which are over 10,000 tons, into war ships has vastly increased the potential risks to British shipping; and what steps the Government proposes to take to make it safe from all possible risks?
§ The SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
The answers to the first two parts of the question are generally in the affirmative. The answer to the third and fourth parts is that the Admiralty recognise it as their duty to consider any possible risks to British shipping from the point of view suggested or any other, and to devise measures for its protection.
§ Sir J. D. REES
Has not the right hon. Gentleman left out one important point? Are the Government taking such steps in respect of this particular British shipping?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
It would be impossible for me, within the limits of an answer to a question, to adequately deal with this subject, but the hon. Gentleman may rest assured that the duty of the adequate defence of British shipping is fully realised by the Admiralty.