asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether he will confer with the Air Minister and consider the advisability of dropping 3,0001b. to 4,000lb. bombs within 20 feet of the side of one of the battleships detailed to be scrapped under the terms of the Washington Conference, the bomb in each case to be fitted with a delay-action fuse to detonate the explosive charge 30 feet below the surface of the water, and the battleship to be stiffened up below the water line or altered as necessary to meet as nearly as possible the latest requirements of the Director of Naval Construction for protecting battleships from explosive charges below the water line; whether the speed of the battleship can be determined before and after the detonation of the bombs: and whether one or two simple experiments of this nature can be carried out in conjunction with the airmen before sixteen millions of the taxpayers' money is expended on two capital ships it is understood the Admiralty now propose to have built?
When the right hon. Gentleman speaks of no aeroplane being able to destroy any modern battleship, does that refer to torpedo-carrying aeroplanes, and does lie mean to say that 20 torpedo-carrying aeroplanes are not going to be able to sink any ship that is likely to be built?
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the answer he really gave is only in reply to a question as to whether these aeroplanes are capable of being operated at sea or not?
I would not say that, given sufficient time, no aeroplane could destroy a battleship, but I do not understand that any aeroplane now in existence under ordinary Service conditions can destroy a battleship.
Is there any reason why aeroplanes with torpedoes cannot be carried at sea, and have not been carried, and ought not to be carried at sea now?