HC Deb 13 May 1925 vol 183 cc1826-7
13. Rear-Admiral BEAMISH

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been drawn to the prospective cruise of an American battleship squadron and other ships to Australia and New Zealand; if he can give any particulars of the cruise; and whether, in view of the importance of our Imperial interests in the Pacific, he can see his way to arranging in the near future for a cruise in those waters by a number of His Majesty's ships, to include battleships, light cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and an aircraft carrier?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. Bridgeman)

The United States Squadron which is shortly to visit Australia and New Zealand waters win probably consist of 11 battleships, 6 cruisers, 28 destroyers, and a number of fleet

auxiliaries, including a fleet base force of 9 vessels, and store, hospital, depot and repair ships. This force will be divided into two detachments, one of which will visit Melbourne and Wellington, while the other will visit Sydney and Auckland between the 23rd July and the 25th August. With reference to the last part of the question, the cruisers of the Special Service Squadron, consisting of 2 battle cruisers and 5 light cruisers, which was completed as recently as 29th September, 1924, includes visits to Australian, New Zealand, and other Pacific ports, and it is not proposed to arrange another cruise of this nature in the near future. His Majesty's Ship "Concord" it at present in Australian waters, and His Majesty's Ship "Delhi" will proceed to Australia at the end of 1925, in accordance with the approved policy for the interchange of Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy light cruisers

Rear-Admiral BEAM ISH

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether the decision not to send battleships is in any way connected with the lack of facilities for docking?

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