HC Deb 12 February 1930 vol 235 cc392-4

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he can give a complete list of the vessels which have been dropped, or are to be dropped, from our constructional programme as a result of the International Conference negotiations; and whether the list can be now regarded as complete from the point of view of our national safety?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

His Majesty's Government have already intimated what changes they have decided to make in the programme of naval construction which they inherited from their predecessors. In the statement of the Prime Minister on the 24th July, 1929 (OFFICIAL REPORT, columns 1304–11), and my answers to the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) on the 29th January last (OFFICIAL REPORT, columns 975–6 and 1019–20) will be found the complete list of vessels with whose construction the Government are not proceeding, as well as their reasons for so doing.


Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the latter part of the question?


I have already answered that in the reply to which I have referred.


Has the right hon. Gentleman accurately described those reductions as a result of the Naval Conference? Are they not rather the preliminaries to the Naval Conference?


That also was answered last week.

18. Commander SOUTHBY

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether it is proposed to scrap the four ships of the Hawkins class as part of the naval reductions?


I cannot, at this stage of negotiations between the five Powers, make any forecast of possible reductions that may result from them.

21. Captain EDEN

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty on how many warships of all classes work has been suspended since the present Government came into office; and how much money had been spent on these ships up to the time of the suspension of work?


As regards the first part of the question, I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the statement made by the Prime Minister on the 24th July last (OFFICIAL REPORT, columns 1304–1311), and to my reply of the 29th January (OFFICIAL REPORT, columns 975–976), to the hon. Member for Devon-port (Mr. Hore-Belisha). As regards the second part, I regret that I am not in a position to add to the reply given on the 6th November (OFFICIAL REPORT, column 1066) to the hon. and gallant Member for Abingdon (Major Glyn), as the contractors' claims are still under investigation.

Captain EDEN

Can the right hon. Gentleman give me a reply to the first part of the question? As the two questions are entirely different, and six months apart, would it not be useful to give the information asked for?


As the information is already in the OFFICIAL REPORT, it is not too much to ask the hon. and gallant Member to look it up.

Captain EDEN

As the right hon. Gentleman's reply six months ago referred to an entirely different matter, would it not be possible in ordinary courtesy for the right hon. Gentleman to give an answer?


The answer is gathered together in the second answer to which I have referred.


Is the right hon. Gentleman ashamed of giving the figures?


No, Sir.

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