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He would take this opportunity of asking to impress on the Committee that the the Civii Lord for information on some of present provision of naval force far the figures in the Estimates. He looked exceeded the two-Power standard. That with regret on the fact that we had not contention had been supported by hon. provided for an equal number of boys and right hon. Gentlemen on both sides under training who were eventually to of House and emphasised by the become our seamen, as was the case last right hon. Member for West Bristol. year. The number had been decreased | There was no doubt that the general from 6,200 to 5,000, though there was a result of the discussion was that the provision for 360 boys under training of Committee was impressed with the view the artificer class which did not appear that at the present moment we had a
There was an increase in the more than sufficient naval force for any amount of prizes given for shooting, which probable eventuality in any naval war in was a step in the right direction. Our which we might be engaged. He had seamen gunners ought to be encouraged endeavoured to bring that to the test of more than in the past to acquire the art any reasonable interpretation of the of good shooting; and money prizes two-Power standard, and he believed he acted as a great incentive to this as well had shown that we were able to meet as mere kudos winning. The hon. Mem- any such contingency in any part of the ber for Clare spoke of the Coastguard world. While there was in many quarters gunnery practice as firing at nothing at of the House a disinclination to propose
to all,” but was the hon. Member himself specific decreases either of expenditure, not really firing at “nothing at all” in shipbuilding, or men, there was a widethe speech he had just made ?
spread desire, which came out very clearly
in the course of the debate, that a stop MR. WILLIAM REDMOND said he should be put to the increases that were was firing at the hon. Gentleman; and he now going on, more particularly when did not know whether that was firing at hon. Members became aware of the fact nothing at all.
that within the four corners of the
Estimates there was involved not merely *MR. GROVES said the hon. Member the voting of the specific sums included for Clare might have been firing at the in the Estimates as initial expenditure, Civil Lord of the Admiralty, but at any but large increases in future years. He
1 rate he could not believe that the hon. thought the Committee should get some Gentleman was firing at him. If so he assurance from the Government on this paid him a very great compliment. The point. We
constantly getting hon. Member had complained that during committed to small the autumn manœuvres the Fleet had expenditure, like £5,000, £10,000, Of not made its base in different parts of £20,000, which might result in an additional Ireland, but one portion of the torpedo expenditure of millions. There was the destroyer fleet had its base at Kingstown case of the two dockyards, which would and in Dublin harbour; and another involve, when they were completed, an portion of the Home Fleet had its base annual charge of hundreds of thousands at Bantry Bay, so that the hon. Member of pounds being placed on the Estimates. would see that Ireland was not altogether we could not but fail to recognise that neglected. He was quite sure that if the the present times were not only critical hon. Member would continue to press the but transitional. Critical because of the matter upon the Civil Lord, it might be naval in the Far East; but arranged that all future naval engage-surely we might draw the conclusion that ments should take place round the coast being in a position of great naval of Ireland.
superiority--and acknowledged to be so
we could fairly offer to hold our hand and MR. BUCHANAN said that the rest in peace.
Still discussion of the past two days had argument good if we looked at these as amply justified the few observations transitional times in regard to naval he had made on the subject of finance warfare and naval defence. when he seconded the Resolution disputable points in regard to naval then before the House, and endeavoured warfare were being put to the test and it
would be only prudent to hold our hands, bad in that sea nearly double the number if possible, with a view to profit by the of vessels contained in the combined experience and lessons to be drawn from Channel and Cruiser Squadrons. That the war in the Far East. There had distribution appeared to be somewhat been no answer to the contention of strange, because the naval strength of the hon. Member for Dewsbury and the the country ought to be retained princiright hon. Member for Forest of Dean in pally in home waters. Then the South regard to the expenditure on battleships. Atlantic Squadron, with alternate headThe Admiralty were taking the initial quarters at Gibraltar and Sierra Leone, had steps which would involve an expenditure been constituted. No explanation of that of £4,000,000 or £5,000,000 on a type of had been given, although it was stated battleship which they themselves acknow- yesterday that that squadron was looked ledged was not the best available type. upon with a certain amount of doubt
and wonder by many naval authorities. THE SECRETARY TO THE ADMIR- As regarded the East Indian and Pacific ALTY (Mr. PRETYMAN, Suffolk, Wood- Squadrons, they were quite small, but he bridge) said that these ships had been thought they could be reduced even below laid down some six weeks ago, and it was their present limits, as no other Power, not possible to alter them now.
with the exception of America, had ships
in that part of the world. He thought MR. BUCHANAN said that the Ad. some explanation should be given of the miralty might have begun to lay down changes that had taken place. these ships six weeks ago, but that only shifted the responsibility further back *SIR JOHN COLOMB (Great Yarmouth) and did not affect his argument. . There said that with reference to the distribuwas another point which he wished to tion of the naval forces of the country, put forcibly to the Admiralty which he thought the hon. Gentleman who had showed still more the unwisdom of the just spoken had lost sight of the fact that present expenditure of the Department; they could not divide the sea. While he and that was, that in all probability the admitted the gravity of the naval expenplans for the new and improved type of diture, it appeared to him to be absolutely battleship would be ready in the autumn unavoidable. He agreed in going as far of this year. If the new type was more as was necessary and no further; but powerful than the present and was likely they would all admit that the naval to be adopted not only by ourselves but expenditure had reached a point at by foreign Powers, it would have been which it became very serious. They wisdom, from a financial point of view, for had, however, to remember that the the Admiralty to hold their hands so as Empire was sea Empire and that to have these new vessels of the best there
no comparison possible possible improved type. Another point between it and any other Empire on which the Committee should have in the world. The national expenditure some information was the distribution of both in ships and in personnel would the Fleet at the present moment. It continue to increase whatever they did. appeared to him somewhat strange that His own view—and he held it more there should be the enormous naval force strongly the older he became—was that there wasin certain seas compared with that the Empire would have to wake up to its we held at home. There were squadrons responsibilities and share this burden, in parts of the world where no other In talking about naval expenditure they nation had any naval force whatever. , should not forget the broad fact that this Taking the numbers from the Navy List was a sea Empire or nothing, and that we had thirty-eight vessels on the China if it was a sea Empire all parts should Station; in the Mediterranean we had no assist in preserving it. As an illustration less than fifty-one vessels of all sorts and of that argument, he saw on page 11 of kinds. We had been increasing our the Estimates a charge for twenty-five naval forces in the Mediterranean out of Royal Navy Reserve Officers allotted to all proportion to any increase going on in Naval Reserves in Australasia. The the French Navy, which was our most revenue of Australasia was greater than formidable rival in those waters. We the revenue of Japan, and they all
knew what Japan was doing. Why in peace remained in war; and it was. should Australasia escape her duties therefore, obvious that it was very much and liabilities in connection with easier to arrive at the standard of what the Navy? He admitted that naval the personnel of the Fleet should be than expenditure would continue to increase; in the case of the Army. He mentioned but he looked to a better co-operative that because he thought the general system between all parts of the Empire trend of policy was to exaggerate the to provide the necessary expenditure. proportions of a reserve personnel required. There were those who said that the naval They knew exactly the number of warforces of the country were now powerful ships fit for service and they knew enough, and that there was no need to do the number of men required to man any more. He did not think that they them. There would be no wastage could stop. They could stop doing what through disease, but only the number was unnecessary; but they could not actually killed or wounded.
The constop doing what was necessary. Suppose ditions of modern warfare had greatly it was found that the number of British changed. In the old days a ship might ships exceeded the ships of a combination become a slaughter-house and still su of Powers by ten or twelve. Was this but that was not the case now. Did not the country going to stop and wait until the present war emphasise that very point! others came up to it? If it did, then The naval reserve was there, but the ships when the other countries reached equality were wanting. He would therefore ask they would have ships of a superior kind the Secretary to the Admiralty to to ours, which would be out of date, consider whether he was not going a little because every ship was an improvement too far as regarded personnel. He would on another ship. What was necessary conclude where he began. He thought was to take a reasonable view, to examine it was the true policy to speak out expenditure and see that nothing that plainly in regard to the duties and was not required was asked for. He did obligations of the outside Empire, in order not think there was anything to complain that all citizens of the Empire should agree of in the Estimates. During the last to share the burden of the Fleet, without fifteen or sixteen years the Admiralty which the Empire could not exist. The had been conducted in a businesslike present arrangement was not right and way; but the more criticism there was should not continue. The increasing in this House of a really reasonable char- expenditure might weigh down the acter the more the Admiralty would look popularity of the Navy, and then there into matters.
would be a reaction which would drag
down the Navy to a low standard, which There was, he thought, one branch would be as bad for the Colonies as for of expenditure which showed a tendency this country. towards exaggeration.
He thought there was danger in imagining that this Empire demanded a
*MR. PRETYMAN said he thought it
very great naval personnel, and he thought he saw a
might be convenient if he now answered tendency on the part of the Admiralty the Questions which had been put, and in that direction. He protested against
if necessary he would answer further that. The real truth was that the Navy Questions later. With reference to the was so entirely different from the Army point mentioned by his right hon. friend that no analogy as regarded personnel the Member for Cambridge Universitycould be drawn between them. 'In con- who approached the subject with great templating a reserve for the Army it was knowledge, and whose remarks deserved necessary to calculate on something that to be received with great respect—with could not be estimated. In a land war it regard to the early age at which boys was not the enemy they had most to fear were admitted to the Navy, his right hon. but disease. Disease could not be helped, friend said that the early age had been but it might be mitigated. That was already tried and had been found not the case in the Navy. The sanitary i wanting. That was certainly true, condition of the Fleet did not change when but he thought that the conditions under it passed from a state of peace to a state which it had been tried were sufficient to
All the conditions that prevailed account for. its failure. The present Sir John Colomb.
system had very few features in common and another at Dartmouth, or whether with the old system, under which boys the boys should all go to were put on board ship under conditions school. The idea of having two schools not suitable to children of their tender
age, was very attractive in many respects, but and under conditions of education gener. the Admiralty came to the conclusion that ally which applied to the Navy of that the principle of the unity of the Navy was day, but which no longer applied. of such importance that they could not
, The conditions now ensured at Osborne afford to disregard it. were such that the boys would in every The hon. Member for Leith had respect, both physical and educational, complained that the Committee did have at least as great advantages as in any not
get sufficient information private or public school in the country. certain points. The Admiralty were As to the suggestion that the Admiralty anxious to give all the information possible, ought to seek advice on educational but purely on financial grounds it was not matters, he would say that the first thing always desirable to say too much, because they did with regard both to Osborne and there were such things as countries to the general scheme of naval educa: building and providing against one tion was to go to the University of another, and if they said too much about Cambridge, which his right hon. friend what they were going to do and exactly represented, and to secure one of its most how and why they were going to do it, it distinguished sons, Professor Ewing. Not was not at all unlikely that other people only had they thus secured the highest and would do the same thing and thus cause best advice on educational subjects, but us further expenditure. With regard to through Professor Ewing they were kept Rosyth the Admiralty had given practiin the closest personal touch with all the callýall the information in their possession. greatest educational authorities
in the No great naval establishment could be country. The suggestion that it would designed or even considered until after the be an advantage if the inspection of most careful examination of the site had Osborne
carried out under been carried out and the Admiralty experts the auspices of the Board of Education had made their report. The Admiralty was a new one to which he would not like had not yet received the report; in fact, to give a reply for, or against, off-hand, the detailed examination was still going but he would undertake that it should on; when the examination had been receive the fullest consideration. With completed, and the particulars were before regard to the wastage, the Admiralty did the Admiralty, the Government proposals not contemplate any appreciable wastage would be prepared and laid before right up to, or nearly up to, the Parliament with the least possible delay. age of eighteen. They contemplated a considerable wastage up to the end of MR. MUNRO FERGUSON said he the first year at Osborne, by which time mentioned Rosyth merely as an example. they expected to be able to eliminate His point was that, much as the Committee nearly all who did not show sufficient would always value expert opinion, it qualifications to make them desirable could not wholly relinquish its responsinaval officers. There was one very forcible bility with regard to public expenditure. consideration, not educational but naval, In some respects he was afraid the which weighed against any proposal Committee leaned too much on expert to fill up from outside sources. The First opinion and too little on its own judgment. Lord of the Admiralty had recently stated that the sea was one and the Navy was *MR. PRETYMAN said he did not for one, and that unity of the Empire was a
a moment suggest that the Admiralty had most important feature which they could any right to act on the advice of their not afford in any way to injure. Unless experts without submitting their proposals it was absolutely necessary they should to the House, but simply that they could jealously guard against any action not submit their proposals until they had which would introduce division or section considered the result of their experts' into any class of the Navy. It was investigations.
It was investigations. As to the suggested originally considered whether there should Estimates Committee, the Prime Minister be two rival schools, one at Osborne had really answered that point. The
hon. Member for Devonport had raised should not be laid down when there was a very legitimate question as to the field a prospect of better designs being proof selection for cadetships, and it might be duced within a short time, it should be a satisfaction to him to know that on the borne in mind that if that practice was last entry three sons of engineer officers adopted they would never lay down ans in the Navy had actually obtained ships at all, because they were always at nomination. There would be no narrow- work trying to improve designs. There ing of the ground for nom nation by the was no method by which ships could be First Lord; that would be done only by laid down with certainty except that of the committee of selection, which con- determining to lay them down at a sisted of naval officers and civilians certain time to the best designs then skilled in education. A further question available. If Noah had proceeded on the raised by the hon. Member was with principle suggested by the hon. Member regard to separation money for the the ark would not have been completed Marines. Considerable advantages had yet. The matter had been fully corbeen given to the Marines to correspond sidered, and the balance of advantage to the increased pay of the Army. had appeared to lie in laying down the The Admiralty had the fullest sym- ships at once. pathy on general grounds with the suggestion that this separation or lodging MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON said that money should be granted, but the condi- both sides were agreed that the Estimates tions practically precluded it from being were enormous; the difference between done. The money was really given not as them was that they on the Opposition side a separation allowance to the wives and held it to be the duty of this country, a children, but as a lodging allowance to the supreme Naval Power in the world
, to the men themselves, because accommoda- take the initiative in trying to bring tion was not provided for them in to an end this ruinous paval competition barracks. On board ship lodging was pro- The Prime Minister had refused to take vided ; consequently the Marine was not the initiative and they contended tha: entitled to the allowance when afloat. he was wrong. The right hon. Gentlemar Moreover, the Marines, when on shore, had stated that it was not for him to were under the Army Act, under which the take the initiative, but that was a persystem of lodging allowances obtained on fectly monstrous proposition coming the ground he had stated; but when the from a Government which was responsible Marines were on board ship they were for one of the greatest wars of aggression under the Naval Discipline Act, which that the century had known. It was recognised no such system. Therefore, to said that ours was only a defensive give a separation allowance to Marines policy, but France said the same thing afloat would raise the much larger question The hon. Gentleman opposite had said of whether it would not necessarily we had no motive for a Navy except have to be given also to all seamen of to defend ourselves. He was glad that the Navy. On the grounds of policy the Liberal Party had pledged itself to such an allowance could not very well be the proposition that it was the duty of made. With regard to carrying a school- this country to take the initiative and master on every ship, that would be a declare that this policy was ruining the very large departure, and one which was country, and they ought to sit down with not likely to commend itself to the Navy. Other countries in order to see if some Every boy who went through the curri- means could not be invented to bring culum of a training ship ought to have their system of Navy expenditure to an the necessary instruction in stoke-hold end.
The hon. and gallant Member and mechanician's duties, and in gunnery, for Yarmouth
he had never but it did not follow that that instruction clamoured for expenditure upon the would best be given by schoolmasters. Navy, although he was afraid that these The question raised by the hon. Member of the automatic increases. The Secre
Estimates must grow larger on acconnt for East Perth had already been fully tary to the Admiralty had somewhat midiscussed. While there was considerable stated his position, which was that when force in the argument that a new ship the Shipbuilding Vote was normal it