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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?