HC Deb 14 May 1924 vol 173 cc1315-6

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if the amount of ammunition reported to the Geddes Committee as being equivalent to 20 years' consumption on the basis of the late War has been reduced; and what is the amount of expenditure to be incurred for this purpose in the current financial year?


The statement by the Geddes Committee that ammunition equivalent to 20 years' consumption on the basis of the late War was being retained by the Admiralty, was not taken from reports made to them by the Admiralty. It was merely a conclusion drawn by the Committee from certain data supplied to them, and did not accurately represent the position. As the Geddes Committee was clearly informed, the ammunition held at that time in excess of the approved reserves was, generally speaking, of obsolete types, which could not be used in the guns with which the ships of the post-War Fleet are armed. It has since been either utilised, as far as possible, in aid of other requirements, or disposed of to the best advantage. No special expenditure has been included in the Estimates for the current financial year in respect of the disposal of surplus ammunition. The sum included in the Navy Estimates, 1924–5, for purchase of ammunition is £943,600, but this is mainly for ammunition for new ships and for types of ammunition not available for ships in the post-War Fleet.