18. Captain MACDONALD
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether there has been any change in the policy agreed to by the late Government, under which it was arranged that five new cruisers were to be laid down during the present year for the purpose of replacement; if there has been any change in this policy, will he state what is the policy of the present Government in this respect; and, if there has been no change, whether the orders for these cruisers have been placed and are being executed?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
The five cruisers, the construction of which was approved by the late Government, have already been laid down. As I informed the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) on the 18th February, His Majesty's Government have decided that it is necessary to investigate further the question of future replacement.
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Will a decision on this matter be reached before the Budget is introduced?
§ Colonel GRETTON
By "laid down," did my right hon. Friend mean that the vessels have been commenced, and are being proceeded with?