HC Deb 17 February 1937 vol 320 cc1161-2
11. Mr. Alexander

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, to allay public anxiety, he will make a statement on the respective strengths of the British fleet and foreign fleets in the 8-inch-gun cruiser class, showing in particular whether the British ships of this class are efficient ships in respect of gun-fire, armour and speed?

Sir S. Hoare

The numbers of 8-inch cruisers at present completed or building by the British Commonwealth of Nations and foreign Powers are as follow:

British Commonwealth 15
United States of America 18
Japan 12
France and Italy 7 each
Germany 3

For details concerning the size and armament of these vessels I would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the Command Paper "Fleets," the 1937 edition of which will shortly be published. I am glad, however, to take this opportunity of saying that there is no warrant for assertions which have recently appeared in the Press that our ships in this category are outclassed.