HC Deb 07 February 1934 vol 285 cc1112-3
8. Sir C. CAYZER

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, as the provisions of the London Naval Treaty do not preclude this country from maintaining any cruisers in excess of the number of 50 during the treaty period, and in view of the changed international situation since the treaty was ratified, he proposes to retain on the active list certain of the over-age cruisers as they are replaced by new construction?

The FIRST LORD of the ADMIRALTY (Sir Bolton Eyres Monsell)

We have accepted all obligation under the London Naval Treaty to limit the total cruiser tonnage of the British Commonwealth of Nations on 31st December, 1936. Overage cruisers cannot be retained when they are replaced by new construction without exceeding this limit.


In view of the fact that this House assented to the London Naval Treaty on two assumptions, that the world situation remained unchanged and that other countries would not increase their naval forces, and in view of the fact that those conditions are not fulfilled, can the right hon. Gentleman say that our naval strength will be reviewed before the next conference, so that when the conference is held we can put forward a demand for naval strength in accordance with the requirements of the Empire?


As the hon. Member knows, there is to be another Naval Conference in 1935, and all these points will be considered then.