HC Deb 13 May 1915 vol 71 cc1794-5

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether Lord Fisher, in the course of the consultation regarding the March attack on the Dardanelles, expressed the view that it would be wiser to wait for the co-operation of a military force; and, if so, who overruled such advice?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Churchill)

Before answering the question on the Paper, I may give the House some information I have received. I regret to say that we have just heard from the Admiral of the Dardanelles that the battleship "Goliath" was torpedoed last night in a torpedo attack by destroyers when she was protecting the French flank just inside the Straits. There are 20 officers and 160 men saved, which, I fear, means that over 500 lives have been lost. The Admiral has also telegraphed that the submarine E 14, which with so much daring penetrated the Sea of Marmora some time ago, has reported that she has sunk two Turkish gunboats and another large Turkish transport. I thought the House would wish to have that information.

With regard to the hon. Member's question, I am sure this House will not approve of this kind of question, which is calculated to be detrimental to public interests of serious importance. The unity and integrity of the Board of Admiralty ought not in time of war to be impugned by any Member.


Why did not the right hon. Gentleman come to that decision last week, before he answered a question of a similar character put by his hon. Friend the Member for Bedford (Mr. Kellaway)?


There is no conflict between my answer on this occasion and the answer I gave then.