HC Deb 08 May 1924 vol 173 cc778-9

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £462,500, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Expense of Medical Services, including the cost of Medical Establishments at Home and Abroad, which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925.


I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman can give the Committee any information as to the health of the Navy at this present moment; how it compares with the health of the men in the past year.

Viscount CURZON

May I reinforce what the right hon. Gentleman has just-said with particular reference to light cruisers? I think it is well-known that accommodation on our light cruisers and our non-light cruisers has not been at all good, and the health has not been good. I refer particularly to the "D" class, in which I believe the accommodation on the lower deck has not been at all good, and the health of the ship's company has suffered. I hope that the new light cruiser accommodation will be improved on the "D" class.


I am glad to be able to say that the report, as far as the health of the Navy is concerned, shows that it was more than maintained, and in fact, is rather on the upward curve this year, although I have not at the moment by me any comparative figures which one can quote with regard to other years. The Medical Director-General's report has not actually been issued, but the figures will compare very favourably with any other nation. I gather that the Noble Lord—and perhaps he, will correct me if I try to listen to two people at once—put to me the point that he hoped there would be an improvement in the new cruisers, so far as accommodation is concerned, as compared with the "D" class. It may give him satisfaction to know that in the plans which have been drawn up all the latest designs for improved accommodation for the crew and equipment are being adopted. Earlier in the evening I was asked as to the present position of the contracts for the light cruisers. I can give the Committee the assurance that all the tenders for the machinery and for the hulls of the contract-built ships have been placed and that in distributing the work due regard has been given to what may be called the "black spot" areas and the work has been distributed so as to go as far as possible to those districts where there is the maximum of unemployment. The same principle will be acted on in allocating the orders for the armour, guns, gun-mountings, plates, etc., which will be ordered shortly.

Question put, and agreed to.