HC Deb 17 December 1929 vol 233 cc1241-2W

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty to what extent Great Britain, France and Italy have increased their naval power since 1921 as to ships and tonnage, naval bases and naval air forces, respectively?


All three countries mentioned have decreased their Fleets both as regards number of ships and tonnage since 1921. For details I would refer my hon. Friend to the Armaments Year Books issued by the League of Nations. As regards naval bases, this country has closed down naval bases at Haulbowline, Invergordon, Dover, Pembroke, Scapa, Brightlingsea, Port Edgar and Rosyth Dockyard. On the other hand, the development of Singapore has been begun. So far as is known, the other two countries have remained practically stationary. I believe that France has closed down a naval base at Port de France in Martinique, and that Italy has established two new small naval bases, one in the island of Leros and the other on Saseno Islands in Valona Bay. The Naval Air Forces of the several countries have increased substantially, being a new weapon, but comparable figures cannot be given since they have organised their forces in entirely different ways.