HC Deb 16 February 1927 vol 202 cc914-6

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether it is proposed to utilise the money saved in naval construction as a result of the strike during the current financial year for new construction during the coming year?


No, Sir. Money voted by this House to defray expenses coming in course of payment during the current financial year must, in so far as it is not so spent, revert to the Exchequer. The House will in due course be asked to vote fresh provision, for the naval services, including naval construction, in the year 1927.


In view of the unemployment in the dockyards arising out of the discharges made by the Government, could not some means be discovered of utilising this money which has already been voted?


Would the right hon. Gentleman at the same time consider the possibility of effecting economies?


It is perfectly obvious, if the money has not been spent, it has been economised.

29. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention has been called to President Coolidge's message to Congress of 10th February last, in which it is stated that a memorandum has been addressed to various Governments, including His Majesty's Government, suggesting a further conference for the purpose of limiting the building of war vessels not already limited by the Washington Treaty of 1921; and whether, in view of this and the postponement of cruiser-building in the United States, he proposes to cease work on further shipbuilding for the present and until the outcome of the proposed conference?


I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the Prime Minister's reply of the 14th February to the hon. Members for Penistone (Mr. Rennie Smith) and South Hackney (Captain Garro-Jones) (OFFICIAL REPORT, Columns 552–3).

Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that. the reply—which I heard—does not deal at all with naval shipbuilding, with which the question is most concerned and will the right hon. Gentleman answer that part of my question?


I think if the hon. and gallant Member refers to the OFFICIAL REPORT, he will find that question was dealt with. The Prime Minister said the whole point was under consideration.

Commander BELLAIRS

Is the Foreign Office working in active consultation with the Admiralty on this question, and has the Admiralty made representations as to the connection between air armaments and naval armaments and the possibility of separating the two?


There will be an early opportunity of debating that question on the Estimates.