55. Mr. SMITH
also asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the total estimated cost of construction and the tonnage of each of the battleships "Rodney" and "Nelson"; the estimated life of these ships and the estimated cost of maintenance and repair of each of these ships during each year of its life; and if he can give the same figures for a representative modern battleship of 10,000 tons?
§ Mr. BRIDGEMAN
The displacement of the "Nelson" and "Rodney" is 35,000 tons. With regard to the cost I would refer the hon. Member to my reply of 3rd March to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Aylesbury. The assumed life of a modern battleship is 20 years as stated in the introductory note to the Return of Fleets (Command 2809). The annual cost of maintenance of each of the battleships "Rodney" and "Nelson" in full commission in home waters at current prices is approximately £374,900. This figure includes pay, victualling, fuel, stores, repairs, etc.; as 30 well as £46,800 for non-effective liability in respect of retired pay and pensions. A forecast of the cost of maintenance during each year of the lives of these ships cannot well be given, as the cost must vary according to whether the, ship is maintained in full commission or reserve, etc., whether it is stationed at home or abroad, as well as according to fluctuations in prices of materials, etc. With regard to th,3 last part of the question, a representative modern battleship could not be built on a displacement of 10,000 tons.