HC Deb 06 April 1938 vol 334 cc327-8
24. Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will direct the appropriate officers of the naval staff to examine the position as regards the strength of the Navy in destroyers with a view to reconsidering the advisability of increasing the building programme of these ships?

31. Captain Peter Macdonald

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether further consideration has now been given to the desirability of making plans for increasing destroyer construction; and whether he is yet in a position to make any statement on this subject?

Mr. Cooper

The Naval Staff have under constant review the strength of the Fleet in all categories of ships. I am not at present in a position to add anything to the announcement that has already been made with regard to this year's construction programme.

Lieut.-Commander Fletcher

Will the right hon. Gentleman study again the expressions of opinion made on this subject in all quarters of the House during the Debate on the Navy Estimates, and consider whether there is not a case for increasing the number of destroyers?

Mr. Cooper

I have carefully studied the expressions of opinion in that Debate.

Mr. Kirkwood

Might I ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, seeing that he has given so much consideration to the officers, whether he will give as much sympathetic consideration to the operative engineers when their case comes before him?

Mr. Speaker

That question is not relevant to the main question in this case, which relates to destroyers.

Mr. Kirkwood

I know that Sir, but I wanted to get that question in.