HC Deb 20 February 1924 vol 169 cc1720-1
13. Captain Viscount CURZON

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he can state whether the imperial Japanese navy suffered any material loss as a result of the earthquake in Japan; if so, in what respect; and whether the standard of strength of the imperial Japanese navy may be considered to have been materially affected?


As the reply is somewhat long, I will, with the Noble Lord's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Viscount CURZON

Can I have an answer to the last part of the question—whether the standard of strength of the imperial Japanese navy may be considered to have been materially affected?

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is not the point of the earthquake situation the financial damage caused to Japan?


I am glad to say that there has been no very material damage done, but the Noble Lord will find full details in the answer which is being circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir PAGE CROFT

Was a single Japanese ship sunk or seriously damaged as a result of the earthquake?


That point is dealt with in the reply.

Following is the reply promised:

The material losses suffered by the Japanese navy due to the recent earthquake are:

  1. (1) The "Amagi," battle cruiser, at Yokosuka, suffered such severe structural 1721 damage that her conversion to an aircraft carrier has been abandoned, and she will be scrapped.
  2. (2) The "Naka," a light cruiser of 5,570 tons displacement, carrying 7 5'5 inch guns, was severely damaged on the stocks at Yokohama. She was nearly ready for launching, but will now probably be taken to pieces and rebuilt. This is the only serious loss as far as ships are concerned.
  3. (3) Two destroyers under construction were slightly damaged. Two submarines refitting were slightly damaged. Two coastal motor-boats were burnt.

Oil Fuel.

About 84,000 tons of oil fuel belonging to the navy was destroyed, and the storage tanks in which it was contained were damaged.

Damage to Dockyards.

The naval dockyard at Yokosuka and private building yards at Yokohama, Tokyo and Uraga were severely damaged by the earthquake and fire, and will probably have a limited capacity of output for about 12 months, after which time they should be in full working order again.

Naval Establishments.

Various training establishments, the naval arsenal at Tokyo, and the cordite factory at Hiratsuka were completely or partially destroyed.

The damage to naval establishments, etc., is estimated at £10,000,000, which will be provided by Supplementary Estimates.

It is understood that the completion of the Auxiliary Shipbuilding programme has been postponed for one year until 31st March, 1929, and the completion of "Alterations to Capital Ships" for one year until 31st March, 1932. The completion of the "Extensions of Dockyards" programme will probably also he postponed for four years until 31st March, 1932. Money has already been voted for these, and the postponements are with a view to effecting temporary economies.

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