Naval Review.

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy. – in the House of Commons on 2nd July 1924.

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Photo of Mr John Harris Mr John Harris , Hackney South

8.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty whether it is proposed to entertain the guests on the "Enchantress" entirely at Government expense?

Photo of Mr Frank Hodges Mr Frank Hodges , Lichfield

The arrangements in this respect will be the same in the case of the guests accommodated in the "Enchantress" as in the case of the guests accommodated in the other vessels.

Photo of Mr John Harris Mr John Harris , Hackney South

16.

also asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty if he will state what is the total number of vessels other than the "Enchantress" which it is proposed to employ for the transit and entertainment of visitors to the naval review; and what is the total estimated cost to the taxpayer, including that of the "Enchantress," of entertaining the guests and visitors during the review?

Photo of Mr Frank Hodges Mr Frank Hodges , Lichfield

In addition to the "Enchantress" it is proposed to employ four vessels for the transit and entertainment of visitors to the naval review, and the total estimated cost of their entertainment, including that on the "Enchantress," is £1,500. It is also proposed to permit a limited number of Admiralty and dockyard officials and their friends to view the assembed Fleet, at their own expense.

Photo of Viscount  Curzon Viscount Curzon , Battersea South

Would it not be possible for Members of Parliament and their friends to go on board these ships at their own expense?

Photo of Mr Frank Hodges Mr Frank Hodges , Lichfield

Under the terms already indicated in the notice.

Photo of Mr John Harris Mr John Harris , Hackney South

Does the £1,500 include the cost of reconditioning the vessel?

Photo of Mr Frank Hodges Mr Frank Hodges , Lichfield

No. That is £1,100. The figures represented here are for entertainment.

Photo of Mr Joseph Sullivan Mr Joseph Sullivan , Lanarkshire Northern

Does not the hon. Gentleman consider that it is carrying economy to the point of meanness not to allow us to see these warships?

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

Is there any reason why Members of this House at intervals of three years at a small cost like that should not visit and be interested in the Navy?

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

18.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty why accommodation for a limited number of Members only is to be provided for the purpose of witnessing the naval review; and whether, in view of the importance of the occasion and the desirability of all Members who so wish seeing the Fleet, he will provide facilities for this?

Photo of Mr Frank Hodges Mr Frank Hodges , Lichfield

I regret that the number and size of the Admiralty vessels which are available and suitable for taking distinguished visitors to the review, and the restricted amount allowed for purposes of entertainment, do not make it possible to invite all Members of Parliament. To accommodate all Members, one or more passenger ships would have to be, specially chartered, as on the occasion of previous reviews—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why not?"]—and the cost involved would be greater than His Majesty's Government has felt justified in incurring.

Photo of Mr James Hogge Mr James Hogge , Edinburgh East

Is not every hon. Member of this House entitled, ipso facto, to attend this review, is it not a fact that he is asked to pay the covering expenses, is it not also a fact that on previous occasions every other Government has arranged a vessel of a sufficient size to accommodate all Members, and is it not finally a fact that Members who have been on these reviews on former occasions have come back much mare interested in and knowing a great deal more about the Navy than before?

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that at the last review the Government of that day adopted the Socialist principles of giving a free ride and free food?

Photo of Mr Frank Hodges Mr Frank Hodges , Lichfield

We are aware of all the facts referred to. They are not disputed for one moment. No one would be more pleased to see all the Members of Parliament at this review than myself, but at the same time there are the financial limits imposed, which the Admiralty are called upon to observe.

Photo of Mr John Loverseed Mr John Loverseed , Sudbury

Will new Members receive priority? [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh!"]

Sir HENRY COWAN:

Are all the Members of the Government to have an opportunity of attending?

Photo of Mr Frank Hodges Mr Frank Hodges , Lichfield

That matter has still to be decided.

Photo of Mr John Gretton Mr John Gretton , Burton

To what Vote will these expenses be charged? Will they come out of the Entertainment Fund?

Photo of Viscount  Curzon Viscount Curzon , Battersea South

In the event of it not being possible to detail a flotilla leader to get under weigh with Members of Parliament on board, will it be possible for Members of Parliament to go on board ships that are taking part in the review, travelling at their own expense?

Photo of Mr Frank Hodges Mr Frank Hodges , Lichfield

That is a question which I will see is put in the proper quarter.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury Lieut-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury , Wolverhampton Bilston

Will those Members have priority who voted for the five cruisers?

Photo of Mr Benjamin Smith Mr Benjamin Smith , Bermondsey Rotherhithe

In view of the anxiety of all Members to take part in the naval review, can the hon. Gentleman arrange that Members should travel at their own expense, so that they may have the advantage of visiting the Fleet?

Photo of Sir Harry Brittain Sir Harry Brittain , Acton

Is it not a fact that the British Government——

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

Further questions must be put on the Paper.