HC Deb 25 June 1930 vol 240 cc1117-9

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is now in a position to make an announcement with regard to the additional naval programme for this year?


asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is yet in a position to state what additional cruisers, submarines, and other vessels, respectively, he proposes to include in this year's naval programme?

19. Captain W. G. HALL

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty if he is now in a position to make a statement on the naval building programme for the current year?

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

The Government's naval construction programme for 1930, is as follows:

  • Cruisers—Three. All of the 6-inch gun type.
  • Destroyers—One Flotilla (comprising one Leader and eight Destroyers).
  • Submarines—Three.
  • Sloops—Four.
  • Netlayer and Target Towing Vessel—One.

A Supplementary Estimate will be introduced shortly for the small sum required to be spent in this financial year on these vessels, orders for the laying down of which will not be given until the last quarter of the financial year. I would emphasise that these ships are required, in replacement of others, which will have passed the age limit, to enable the Royal Navy to carry out its current duties in time of peace, and the programme has no relation to those of other Powers. A full explanation of all the details of the programme will be issued in a White Paper before the Supplementary Estimate is considered by Parliament. It is intended that the allocation of the vessels to be built should be as follows:

By contract.

In the Royal Dockyards.



Colonel ASHLEY

How long does the right hon. Gentleman expect it will take to build these ships?


I could not give a time as to months, but I should say a little less than the "Kent" class in the last programme. We have not had full experience yet of this size of ship, but I should say rather more than two years.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

First of all, are these ships to be additional to those the right hon. Gentleman has already announced since the conclusion of the Conference, and, secondly, can he give the total cost?


The ships the hon. and gallant Gentleman refers to were the suspended ships of the 1929 programme. I must remind the House of that point, that of the original 1929 programme the Government cancelled more than a half, and, therefore, they had to take that into account when considering the 1930 programme.


Does the right hon. Gentleman contemplate that the allocation of this cruiser to Devonport will maintain the present rate of employment?


It is very difficult to give an exact estimate on that point I think the hon. Member has a question on the Paper with regard to casual labour. With regard to other labour, I think we shall be able to do so, but he must not bind me to that estimate.


Did I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say the destroyer flotilla would be built by contract in private yards?


All with the exception of the leader.

Major ROSS

What about the size of the 6-inch gun cruisers?


A lot of these points will be much better dealt with in the debate later on, but I should think something more than 6,500 tons.

Lieut. - Commander KENWORTHY

May we be told the total cost?


The total cost spread over three years will be about £9,000,000.