HC Deb 18 December 1929 vol 233 cc1383-4
24. Mr. KELLY

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty what would be the saving in Naval Estimates in each of the next three years if it was desided not to replace any battleships now in commission; and what would be the additional saving if half the number of battleships now in commission were scrapped?


As the answer is somewhat long, I propose, with my hon. Friend's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

As regards the first part of the question, the battleship replacement programme contained in the Washington Naval Agreement provides for two new battleships to be laid down by the British Empire in 1931 and two more in 1932. Assuming that such new battleships were to be of the maximum permissible displacement, the estimated cost would be:

in 1930 nil.
in 1931 £1,030,000
in 1932 £6,065,000

As regards the second part of the question the present annual cost of maintenance of eight of the 16 existing battleships is approximately £2,300,000, of which roughly £1,500,000 is for the pay, allowances, insurance, victualling, clothing, mess gear, etc., of the personnel and for non-effective liability in respect of retired pay and pensions. What would be the actual effect on Navy Estimates of the policy indicated I could not undertake to say.

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