§ The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Sir Eric Geddes)
I would like to say, at the outset, how much I regret that it was not possible for me to be present at the recent Debates on shipbuilding in this House. I feel sure that when I say that I was entirely engrossed with the deliberations and meetings of a very important Inter-Allied Naval Conference, over which I presided, and which was attended by our Allies from great distances, the House will excuse my absence; otherwise, I would have been in my place. I have, of course, read the Debates, and had the advantage of discussing the matter with my right hon. Friend the Financial 1016 Secretary, who heard the whole of the Debates, and who most ably took part in them on my behalf.