§ 48. Commander Viscount CURZON
asked the Prime Minister whether it was a fact that the Government had accepted the responsibility for the sinking of the ex-German fleet at Scapa Flow; if so, on what grounds; and had anything as yet been decided as to the disposal of the ships salved?
Lieut.-Colonel C. LOWTHER
Will the right hon. Gentleman say who was the 1668 brilliant authority responsible for leaving German crews in the ships? Was it ever supposed that they could be trusted?
§ Mr. BOTTOMLEY
Was not that decision against the wish of Great Britain? Did we not wish them to be surrendered?
§ Mr. LONG
No, not against the wish of Britain. I stated earlier that the Admiralty expressed their view, expressed what they thought was the proper course from the Admiralty point of view, but, as my hon. Friend knows, many other considerations arise in connection with the settlement of this very difficult question, and the ultimate decision was for internment, not for surrender.
§ Mr. BILLING
Is it proposed to make anyone responsible for this? Is it the German Government or the officer in command?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The hon. Member will have seen that demands have been made on the German Government in consequence of it.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Are we not under a debt of gratitude to the German seamen for sinking these unnecessary ships?