§ 8. Captain P. MACDONALD
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the reasons for the delay that appears not infrequently to occur in the actual laying down of ships ordered under the programmes of new construction?
Sir B. EYRES MONSELL
The date for a ship's completion is fixed with reference, not to the date upon which her keel is laid down, but to that on which she is ordered. When the order is given, the shipbuilders require a considerable period, varying with the circumstances of the case, for the necessary preparatory work and the purchase and assembly of material. The laying down of the keel thus marks, not the beginning of the ship's construction but the completion of an important stage thereof.