HC Deb 04 March 1912 vol 35 cc170-3W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the dates given by him for British and German "Dreadnoughts," namely, order to commence and first commission for British and date ordered to commission for trials for German are equivalent periods, and furnish an adequate criterion for judging of comparative rapidity of construction?


For British ships, the date of order to commence is, in the case of contract-built ships, the date of acceptance of tender; and in the case of dockyard built ships, the date of dispatch of the building drawings. The date of first commission is the date of commissioning after all trials have taken place. The period of trials given in my answer of the 26th February includes all trials from the first contractors trial to that of final acceptance. In the case of Germany, we have no information to show whether the date of order to commence is similarly interpreted. It is understood that German ships undergo preliminary trials and the contractor's trial; they are then provisionally accepted, are placed in commission, and undergo a further series of official trials. As may be seen by reference to my reply of the 26th February, the time occupied by these trials varies con-

Name. Date Laid Down (Dockyard Ship) or Ordered (Contract Ship). Date Launched. Date Completed.
"Dreadnought" 2nd Oct., 1905 10th Feb., 1906 December, 1906
"Bellerophon" 3rd Dec, 1906 27th July, 1907 February, 1909
"Temeraire" 1st Jan., 1907 24th Aug., 1907 May, 1909
"Superb" 26th Dec, 1906 7th Nov., 1907 May, 1909
"St. Vincent" 30th Dec, 1907 10th Sept., 1908 May, 1910
"Collingwood" 3rd Feb., 1908 7th Nov., 1908 April, 1910
"Vanguard" 6th Feb., 1908 22nd Feb., 1909 February, 1910
"Neptune" 19th Jan., 1909 30th Sept., 1909 January, 1911
"Hercules" 1st June, 1909 10th May, 1910 July, 1911
"Colossus" 1st June, 1909 9th April, 1910 August, 1911
"Orion" 29th Nov., 1909 20th Aug., 1910 January, 1912
"Conqueror" 4th Jan., 1910 1st May, 1911
"Monarch" 4th Jan., 1910 30th March, 1911
"Thunderer" 4th Jan., 1910 1st Feb., 1911
"King George V." 16th Jan., 1911 9th Oct., 1911
"Centurion" 16th Jan, 1911 18th Nov., 1911
"Ajax" 13th Jan., 1911
"Audacious" 13th Jan., 1911
New ships Not yet named 15th Jan., 1912
New ships 25th Jan.,1912
New ships 30th Jan., 1912
New ships 30th Jan., 1912
Battle cruisers—
"Indomitable" 21st Nov., 1905 16th Mar., 1907 June, 1908
"Inflexible" 21st Nov., 1905 26th June, 1907 October, 1908
"Invincible" 21st Nov., 1905 13th April, 1907 March, 1909
"Indefatigable" 23rd Feb., 1909 28th Oct., 1909 April, 1911
"Lion" 29th Nov., 1909 6th Aug., 1910
"Princess Royal" 4th Jan., 1910 29th April, 1911
*"New Zealand" 1st April, 1910 1st July, 1911
†"Australia" 1st April, 1910 25th Oct., 1911
"Queen Mary" 27th Feb., 1911
* Building at the charge of the New Zealand Government. † Building for Australia.

siderably. It is not known at what period of these official trials the final acceptance of the ship takes place. I am informed that it is impossible to state from the information available whether the dates given are equivalent periods and furnish an adequate criterion for judging the comparative rapidity of construction in the two countries.


asked the numbers of "Dreadnoughts," including "Dreadnought" cruisers, either built or building by the United Kingdom and Germany, respectively, at the end of February, 1912, giving in the case of each country the name of each ship, when laid down or date when giving out contract, date of launch, and date of completion?


The information asked for by my hon. Friend is given in the following tabular statements:—

Name. Date Ordered. Date Launched. Date Commissioned for Trials.
"Nassau" *August, 1907 7th March, 1908 October, 1909
"Westfalen" *August, 1907 1st July, 1908 November, 1909
"Rheinland" April, 1907 26th Sept., 1908 April, 1910
"Posen" April, 1907 12th Dec, 1908 May, 1910
"Ostfriesland" April, 1908 30th Sept., 1909 August, 1911
"Helgoland" June, 1908 25th Sept., 1909 August, 1911
"Thuringen" June, 1908 27th Nov., 1909 July, 1911
"Oldenburg" †April, 19[...]9 30th June, 1910
"Kaiser" 22nd March, 1911
"Friedrich d[...]r Grosses" 10th June, 1911
"Kaiserin" 11th Nov., 1911
"Konig Albert"
"Prinzregent Luitpold" 17th Dec, 1911
"Ersatz Kurfurst" (Friedrich Wilhelm)
"Ersatz Weissenburg"
Battle cruisers—
"Von der Tann" *March, 1908 20th March, 1909 September, 1910
"Moltke" September, 1908 7th April, 1910 September, 1911
"Goeben" † April, 1909 28th March, 1911
* Date keel was laid. † Promised to the firms, in Autumn, 1908. ‡ official information.