§ 114. Mr. C. EDWARDS
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether four British warships have recently left Malta for the Black Sea; what is the present strength of the naval forces in the Black Sea; and for what purposes they are being kept there?
§ The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY(Mr. Long)
The answer to the first part of the hon. Member's question is in the affirmative: but the movement is not in any way extraordinary and implies no augmentation of strength in the Black Sea. His Majesty's ships return to Malta from the Eastern Mediterranean regularly to refit and give leave.
As to the second part of the question, the strength of the naval forces in the Black Sea varies from day to day; but an average is:—
These vessels are maintained there in order to ensure the safety of our troops at 1015 Batum and the military mission in the Crimea; and generally to protect British subjects at the outlying Turkish ports.
- 2 battleships,
- 2 light cruisers,
- 8 destroyers,
- 1 aircraft carrier,
- 2 sloops.