HC Deb 19 March 1913 vol 50 cc1014-5

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that in 1912 we had thirty-one pre-"Dreadnought" battleships not more than fifteen years launched to Germany's nineteen, and that in 1916 the figures will be seventeen and fourteen, respectively; and, if so, to what extent it is proposed to increase our "Dreadnought" superiority above 60 per cent., in order to compensate for the decline in the relative value of our margin in ships of the earlier type?


The figures for 1912 are correct. Those for 1916 depend on the day on which the comparison is made; they are correct for 19th March. I shall hope to enter generally into this subject next week.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman when the decline in the fighting value of the pre-"Dreadnoughts" will be recognised in the estimates of the relative strength of the fleets?


That is just one of those questions I am hoping to deal with in any statement the House may permit me to make next week.