Mr William Bridgeman: Could the hon. Member mention one or two of them by name?
Mr William Bridgeman: I should like, before I say anything more, to express my personal thanks for the many kind words that have been spoken in the course of this Debate in relation to myself. I am very much touched by those references. Personally, I have been referred to as Dr. Jekyll, but publicly the hon. Member for Camberwell North (Mr. Ammon) and other hon. Members opposite have criticised me as Mr. Hyde....
Mr William Bridgeman: The hon. Gentleman said we ought not to base our policy on our requirements, and that if we did so, then other countries would do the same. I do not blame other countries if they do, but I do blame the hon. Gentleman for suggesting that our requirements, which are for bread and raw material for our trade, are in any way comparable to the requirements of such a country as the United States,...
Mr William Bridgeman: Two sloops are detailed for duty in the Red Sea, where one of their principal duties is the prevention of slave-trading. One of these sloops is at present undergoing repairs at Malta, there being no repairing base in the Red Sea. The slave traders naturally take great care to conceal their activities, but from reports received it appears that there is still a limited traffic in slaves from...
Mr William Bridgeman: I hope to be able to make a statement to-morrow when I introduce the Estimates.
Mr William Bridgeman: The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, the question of submarine salvage in case of accident is under investigation at the Admiralty and experiments with a submarine will take place shortly to test certain fittings which have been added. Other developments are contemplated and these include investigation of an apparatus, devised by a...
Mr William Bridgeman: His Majesty's Ship "Sussex" is due to commission about the end of March, prior to proceeding to join the Mediterranean Fleet. There is no protected harbour on the Sussex coast which would take the "Sussex," and at this time of the year the weather is not propitious for a programme of visits to open anchorages. If, however, a strong desire should be expressed by subscribers in Sussex towards a...
Mr William Bridgeman: The port from which H.M.S. "Hood" will be manned after her prospective refit has not yet been decided, but it will probably be Portsmouth. This change, if made, will be part of corresponding changes in the manning of capital ships, which will leave the existing balance of manning between the two ports practically unchanged.
Mr William Bridgeman: Proposals with regard to the approximate time of ordering the ships of next year's programme will be submitted to the House with the Navy Estimates for 1929.
Mr William Bridgeman: I believe the hon. and gallant Member for Central Hull (Lieut.-Commander Kenworthy) is referring to a future programme about which he knows nothing, and not to the programme already arranged.
Mr William Bridgeman: I have been asked to reply. I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Devonport (Mr. Hare-Belisha) on the 7th of February (OFFICIAL REPORT, column 1955).
Mr William Bridgeman: I do not think it is my business to suggest other economies except those concerning my own Department. In regard to my own Department, there are others which I would prefer.
Mr William Bridgeman: If the hon. Member will refer to a question which was answered on the 13th December by the Parliamentary Secretary, he will see that my hon. and gallant Friend said: The orders for the ships of the 1928 shipbuilding programme have not yet been placed. As indicated in the reply given to a question by the hon. Member for East Newcastle (Mr. Connolly) on 5th December [OFFICIAL REPORT, column...
Mr William Bridgeman: That is a hypothetical question.
Mr William Bridgeman: Twenty-one officers, ex-mates, applied to take specialist courses, of whom 10 were selected.
Mr William Bridgeman: No, Sir; I do not think that the proportion is small.
Mr William Bridgeman: Two ex-mates have ben promoted to Commander on the Active List since June, 1926, when the first officer (ex-mate) came within the zone for promotion to Commander.
Mr William Bridgeman: It is only since 1926. The 1920 scheme was a scheme for the special retirement of surplus officers.
Mr William Bridgeman: That is a matter of opinion. I have no prejudice against the scheme, and I cannot admit that it is a small proportion.
Mr William Bridgeman: I cannot say off-hand. If the hon. Member will put down a question raising that point, I will give him an answer.