HL Deb 30 March 1909 vol 1 cc539-40

My Lords, I greatly regret to inform your Lordships that, owing to the death of a very near relative, my noble friend Lord Cawdor [who had a Motion on the Paper to call attention to the statement of the First Lord of the Admiralty explanatory of the Navy Estimates, and to move for Papers] is unable to be in his place this evening. In those circumstances, considering the great personal interest which Lord Cawdor takes in the subject to which he intended to refer, and his exceptional knowledge of it, we felt that the discussion might well be postponed until a future period. Lord Cawdor desired me particularly to convey to the House an expression of his great regret at being unavoidably compelled to occasion a great deal of inconvenience to some of your Lordships.


My Lords, I have to thank the noble Marquess for giving me notice early in the day that it would be impossible for the noble Earl to proceed with his Motion. I need not say that we deeply regret the cause of the noble Earl's absence, and sympathise with him in his bereavement. I entirely agree that, owing to the unique position which on this particular subject the noble Earl occupies in your Lordships' House, the noble Marquess has exercised a wise discretion in not proceeding with the Motion to-day.


who had the following Motion on the Paper— To move for the appointment of a Select Committee to inquire and report as to what number and descriptions of men-of-war could be commenced at short notice in public and private shipbuilding yards in Great Britain and Ireland; what time it would take to complete them with guns, gull-mountings, and all other necessary fittings; what men-of-war now building could have their construction accelerated; what docks capable of docking damaged Dreadnoughts on our eastern coasts are being built or are already in existence; what steps might be taken to increase their number; and how many large docks are in existence or being built on the coasts of the other countries that border on the North Sea, said: My Lords, with your Lordships' permission I propose, in consequence of the unfortunate absence of Lord Cawdor, to defer the Motion standing in my name.