Mr William Bridgeman: The mackintosh as at present supplied conforms to the general trade standard for this class of article, but it has been decided that future purchases of mackintoshes shall have a dark grey lining instead of blue in order to avoid the possible staining of white uniform.
Mr William Bridgeman: I should require notice of that question.
Mr William Bridgeman: I should be glad if my hon. and Gallant Friend will repeat this question in a week's time.
Mr William Bridgeman: I regret that one naval rating has died as the result of the accident. The answer to the second part of the question is in the affirmative.
Mr William Bridgeman: At the inquest attention was called to the way in which the gangway was attached. I have just received a report of the inquiry, but I have not had time to examine it sufficiently to say exactly what was the cause of the accident.
Mr William Bridgeman: Certainly, instructions will be given to take more care, and, if any definite point is raised, that, of course, will be given special attention.
Mr William Bridgeman: I must ask for notice of that question.
Mr William Bridgeman: As the answer contains a number of figures I will, with my hon. and gallant Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Mr William Bridgeman: The question of stationing a British ship at Bias Bay to check piracy has been considered, and this action has been taken on occasion, whenever thought desirable. The establishment of a permanent British patrol in Bias Bay is not thought to be a feasible solution of this problem.
Mr William Bridgeman: I am not aware that piracy is included in the term "private enterprise," but, if so, I cannot undertake not to interfere with it. With regard to my hon. Friend's supplementary question, the whole matter has been carefully considered by the Commander-in-Chief on the spot, and he is adopting what he thinks is the best method of dealing with the matter.
Mr William Bridgeman: One of the new gunboats is already in commission. Another will be commissioned during the present month. The remaining two are expected to be put into service early in the new year. These vessels are designed solely for service on the great rivers of China, and cannot be employed on the high seas where the recent increase in piracy has occurred.
Mr William Bridgeman: Some of the vessels which are due to be replaced are being kept as long as we can keep them. Other vessels are taking the place of those that are absolutely unable to go on any longer, and the question of their replacement is one which the Admiralty is always considering.
Mr William Bridgeman: This question is now under consideration, and I regret that I am unable at present to make any statement in the matter.
Mr William Bridgeman: Neither of the two Australian submarines which are now in this country has been engaged in any work in connection with cinematograph films. The remainder of the question does not, therefore, arise.
Mr William Bridgeman: The Admiralty will be represented in an advisory capacity at the forthcoming Preparatory Commission on Disarmament by Vice-Admiral W. A. H. Kelly. The Admiralty have been consulted as regards the Government attitude on this question.
Mr William Bridgeman: The answer is that the Admiralty have been consulted as regards the Government attitude on this question.
Mr William Bridgeman: They have stated their views to those who have to conduct the matter at Geneva.
Mr William Bridgeman: Where I see the difference is between making a statement now and waiting till the Preparatory Commission has actually met to discuss it.
Mr William Bridgeman: As indicated in the Estimates presented to Parliament, the sum of £7,750,000 represents the estimated cost of developing the naval base in the Old Strait at Singapore. It does not include the cost of military and air defences required for the defence of Singapore. I understand that these are still under consideration, but in any case, the question of their cost is one for my right hon....
Mr William Bridgeman: As I have said, it is a question for the Secretary of State for War and the Secretary of State for Air; not for the Admiralty.