HC Deb 07 March 1951 vol 485 cc407-8
2. Mr. Donner

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty how many cruisers are now in commission.

Mr. Callaghan

I would refer the hon. Member to my noble Friend's Statement Explanatory of the Navy Estimates, 1951–52.

Mr. Donner

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that every time this Question is asked we have fewer cruisers in commission than before, and that with 30 cruisers sold or scrapped, this constitutes re-armament in reverse?

Mr. Callaghan

I would remind the hon. Gentleman that enemy fleets of cruisers have disappeared off the seas. The Navy staff requirements are fully met.

Sir Ronald Ross

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that commerce raiders have not disappeared off the seas? Is it not a fact that we now have less than half the number of cruisers we had in 1939 and less than a quarter we had in 1914? Will the hon. Gentleman see that the cruisers which are half finished are completed quickly?

Mr. Callaghan

I must remind the hon. Gentleman that both the German and Japanese fleets have disappeared.