HC Deb 08 June 1937 vol 324 cc1589-90
64. Mr. Parker

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is in a position to make a full report on the damage suffered by His Majesty's Ship "Hunter"?

The Civil Lord of the Admiralty (Lieut.-Colonel Llewellin)

A general description of the damage was given to the hon. Member by my Noble Friend the late Parliamentary Secretary on 26th May. The two boiler rooms then stated to have been flooded were opened to the sea, the shell plating being almost completely ruptured at the forward end of the forward boiler room. The foremost boiler was displaced and the forward bulkhead of the middle boiler room damaged, but the after bulkhead of this compartment remained watertight. The forward bulkhead of the forward boiler room was wrecked. The shell plating forward of the boiler rooms was strained to such an extent as to result in the partial flooding of three main compartments forward.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Can the Civil Lord give any estimate of the cost of the repairs?

Lieut.-Colonel Llewellin

Only quite a rough estimate can be given at the moment, because on the final survey more faults may be disclosed; but, as a rough estimate, if the House will take it as a rough estimate, it is about £70,000.

68. Mr. Parker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, should the Non-Intervention Committee cease to operate, he will make it clear that His Majesty's Government will not permit the invasion or conquest of Spain by any foreign Power?

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Viscount Cranborne)

I am glad to have this opportunity of emphasising, as His Majesty's Government have made clear on several occasions, and, in particular, when the Spanish question was before the Council of the League of Nations last month, that the preservation of the territorial integrity of Spain is a matter of great moment to them.

Mr. Mander

Will the Noble Lord say what that means? Are we going to war about it, or what does it mean?

69 and 70. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) whether he will consider the advisability of proposing to the countries cooperating in the non-intervention scheme in Spain the expediency of arranging that one or two units from neutral navies should be attached to British, French, German, or Italian squadrons in each of the four controlled zones, with a view to emphasising international solidarity in this work and reducing the likelihood of dangerous incidents;

(2) whether he will consider the advisability of proposing to all countries participating in the non-intervention scheme in Spain that a distinguishing mark should be allotted to all vessels engaged in international control work, with a view to minimising the danger of such incidents as the one in connection with the "Deutschland."

Viscount Cranborne

These and all other similar suggestions for improvement of the system of patrol off the Spanish coast are being carefully considered.