Mr William Bridgeman: As a result of the reiview that has taken place, certain changes which, it is thought, will impart greater clearness to the Regulations on the subject are now under consideration. When these have been finally decided upon, they will be issued as amendments to the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions.
Mr William Bridgeman: They will be issued as amendments to the King's Regulations.
Mr William Bridgeman: The figures are as follow, in round thousands. The precise figures will be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT: Great Britain (not including Dominions), 15th July, 1914, 146,000; 15th July, 1928, 101,000. United States of America, 1914, 67,000; 1928, 113,000. Japan, 1914, 50,000; 1928, 85,000. France,1914, 69,000; 1928, 62,000.Italy, 1914, 40,000; 1928, 46,000.
Mr William Bridgeman: I am always trying to point out that we have done more in the direction of disarmament than any other country, and, as regards the future, I will do my best to see that this country is secure.
Mr William Bridgeman: I presume that the hon. Gentleman refers to this question.
Mr William Bridgeman: There is no harm in telling the truth.
Mr William Bridgeman: The number of civilian workpeople employed by the Admiralty at Singapore on 1st October was 784.
Mr William Bridgeman: I cannot say. I will inquire further if the hon. Gentleman wants to know.
Mr William Bridgeman: If it is possible to do so in that connection, I shall, of course, consider dockyardmen, but I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman's question covers those who are employed by a contractor or those employed by my Department.
Mr William Bridgeman: I was not aware whether the hon. Gentleman the Member for Devonport (Mr. Hore-Belisha) was referring to them.
Mr William Bridgeman: The whole question of submarine salvage is under investigation and practical experiments on a submarine are about to take place. Experiments and methods of salvage carried out by foreign countries are being closely watched with a view to providing anything that may prove practicable without serious loss of efficiency.
Mr William Bridgeman: I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to my reply of the 25th July (OFFICIAL REPORT, columns 1255–6) to the hon. Member for Anglesey (Sir R. Thomas).
Mr William Bridgeman: The only encouragement I can give the hon. and gallant Member is to repeat what I have already said in the House, but, of course, the fact of the signing of the Kellogg Pact will be borne in mind when we finally settle our Estimates. The hon. and gallant Member knows quite well that it is most irregular to produce the Estimates a long time beforehand.
Mr William Bridgeman: I cannot give an answer off-hand, and I am not at all sure that I could even with notice, but, if the hon. Member will put a question down, I will do my best to give him an answer.
Mr William Bridgeman: Yes, Sir, and I am afraid the hon. Member has entirely misconceived the object of this step, which has been taken at the wish of the Admiralty in order that the firm's arrangements for carrying out this very large contract may be kept quite separate from their arrangements in regard to other undertakings which they have in hand. The formation of the subsidiary company does not relieve the...
Mr William Bridgeman: I do not think that would be in accordance with practice.
Mr William Bridgeman: : My first answer covers all the points.
Mr William Bridgeman: I should like to see that question on the Paper.
Mr William Bridgeman: The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative and to the second part in the affirmative. As regards the third part, no conversations on defence matters have taken place except those that were necessary up to the signing of the Peace Treaties.
Mr William Bridgeman: I presume that the hon. Member has read the White Paper. As he knows, different Powers at Geneva were invited to conversations. That is all described in the White Paper. Beyond that nothing has taken place and there is nothing to be said to-day.