Mr William Bridgeman: I have told the hon. and gallant Member that I cannot give a more conclusive statement. I think it is perfectly clear from what I have said what the wish of the Admiralty is, but these things cannot be promised in advance.
Mr William Bridgeman: I should like notice of that question. As regards the postponement of the Courts-Martial, that was to meet the very point on which the hon. and gallant Member asked a question a moment ago. He asked why they were not given more notice. The gallant officers had to be given due notice of the new charges.
Mr William Bridgeman: I think I had bettor not mention the name in public, but I do not mind telling the hon. and gallant Member. As there is a good deal of prejudice in certain quarters, I think it would be better not to mention names.
Mr William Bridgeman: He was released partly on the ground of health and partly because he had given an undertaking not to engage in any further hostilities against the Irish Free State Government.
Mr William Bridgeman: The Committee have not yet met, as it is only within the past week that any representations for their consideration have been received. I am in communication with the Committee with a view to the early consideration of these representations.
Mr William Bridgeman: I have just said, in answer to another question, that there were three. I believe that some others made applications, and then withdrew them.
Mr William Bridgeman: There is no delay. The only reason for their not meeting is that there were no cases for them to deal with.
Mr William Bridgeman: The number of premises with Justice' off-licences in London (County and City) on 1st January, 1922, was 2,156; the number in the provinces was 19,952. I have no information as to the number which are tied to brewers.
Mr William Bridgeman: The statement made in the first part of the question has not previously been brought to my notice, and I have no information on the subject. I doubt whether the Leader of the House would find it possible to comply with the request contained in the second part of the question.
Mr William Bridgeman: I am not quite sure, but if the hon. and gallant Gentleman will see me, I will let him know in a day or two whether it is possible to get any further information.
Mr William Bridgeman: In 1924 the New Zealand Government undertook the entire maintenance of the oil-burning cruiser "Dunedin" in place of the coal-burning cruiser "Chatham," which they had been maintaining since 1920. In 1925 the New Zealand Government further undertook the entire maintenance of a second oil-burning cruiser, the "Diomede." Quite recently, as stated in my speech introducing the Navy Estimates, New...
Mr William Bridgeman: I would rather have notice of that question. I do not think so.
Mr William Bridgeman: No capital ships of His Majesty's Navy are due to be scrapped until 1934. When the time comes I have no doubt that consideration will be given to the hon. and gallant Member's suggestion.
Mr William Bridgeman: I should prefer to give an accurate reply. May I send the hon. and gallant Gentleman a reply in writing?
Mr William Bridgeman: We are only allowed, under the Washington Convention, one mobile target ship of that size, and we have one already.
Mr William Bridgeman: I am aware of the facts stated in the question. Although the vessel was drifting after the first attempt was made to blow her up, she was on fire at the time and, as she was sunk before dark, it is not considered that she was a danger to navigation during this interval. The answer to the last part of the question is in the affirmative.
Mr William Bridgeman: In case she did not sink.
Mr William Bridgeman: The latest experiment to ascertain the effect on a ship's structure of aeroplane bombs exploded below water was carried out against the "Monarch" with a portion of the side reconstructed to represent the most recent design of underwater protection. The charge used was 2,000 lbs., corresponding to a bomb of about 4,000 lbs.
Mr William Bridgeman: No, I am afraid not.
Mr William Bridgeman: An order was issued by the Admiralty in December last directing that, when as many as two percent of the workmen employed in any, Department are proposed to be discharged, a special report is to be made to the Admiralty before the issue of notices, but if the discharges affect less than two per cent. of the workmen no special report need be made.