HC Deb 09 March 1938 vol 332 c1874
21. Mr. Garro Jones

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the number and tonnage of British battleships projected but not yet building?

Mr. Shakespeare

As the hon. Member will now be aware from the recent White Paper on Defence (Cmd. 5682), the new construction programme for 1938 includes two capital ships. Their tonnage is still under consideration, and I am not at present able to make any statement on this subject.

Mr. A. V. Alexander

Are the Admiralty or the Foreign Office taking any steps, before coming to a decision, to respond to the Japanese invitation to consider the abolition of capital ships?

Mr. Shakespeare

That is no new invitation; it was made some years ago.

Mr. Alexander

Was it not renewed officially in the speech of a Japanese Minister last week?

Mr. Shakespeare

Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will put that new question on the Paper.

Mr. Garro Jones

Has any further information been obtained from the Japanese Government as to the size of the battleships projected or building by them?

Mr. Shakespeare

No, I understand not.