§ 12. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many cruisers and destroyers, respectively, have been commenced during the present financial year; and how many it is intended to commence before the end of the present financial year?
As my hon. and gallant Friend is aware, the construction programme for the year 1929, after reduction by the present Government, was held over until the meeting of the London Naval Conference, and vessels of that programme were accordingly not ordered, as in normal circumstances they would have been, towards the end of the financial year 1929. The following numbers of vessels of the classes referred to in the question were thus commenced in the current financial year:
Conditions being now normal, the vessels of the 1930 programme will be ordered 2199 as is usual, before the end of the financial year, as provided for in the Navy Estimates 1930. They comprise in the classes referred to in the question:
- One 6-inch cruiser.
- One leader.
- Four destroyers.
- Three 6-inch cruisers.
- One leader.
- Eight destroyers.
§ Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. LAMBERT WARD
In view of the very large number of unemployed in the shipbuilding centres, will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of commencing these vessels rather sooner than was originally contemplated?
I am receiving a deputation on that matter from the shipbuilding industry on Monday next, and I would rather not say anything about it at the moment, but I hope that the House will remember the difficulties of finance.
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
Will the right hon. Gentleman give the same concessions to the dockyards that he gives to private shipbuilding firms?