Mr. HASTINGS DUNCAN
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if the captain of the British s. s. "Brodmore" "was refused assistance by His Majesty's gunboat, then lying off Hankow, in his wish to send an urgent message for pilotage to Shanghai, but was enabled to send his desired message by the courtesy of the commander of the German gunboat "Nürnberg"; and, if the allegation of refusal is correct, was the reason that the commander was unable to communicate through so great a distance because of an inferior equipment of wireless apparatus?
§ Dr. MACNAMARA
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. In reply to the first part of the question, I can only refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty to the hon. Member for Devizes on 19th March last. As regards the latter part of the question, the wireless equipment of the British men-of-war then in the Yangtse appears to have been sufficient for communication to be maintained for Service purposes between Hankow and Shanghai. It is, however, quite possible that at the time the "Brodmore's" message had to be sent the British men-of-war at Hankow were small vessels, whose wireless range is naturally less than that of a second-class cruiser such as the German vessel referred to.