Mr William Bridgeman: This question has nothing to do with "before the War," but after the War.
Mr William Bridgeman: The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The circumstances of the accident were of an exceptional character, and I am considering whether any precautions beyond the very complete system now existing are necessary.
Mr William Bridgeman: This particular accident was rather a peculiar one. I want to make sure whether or not some further precautions can be taken to avoid such an accident in the future. I am not dealing with the general question until I have investigated the causes of this accident.
Mr William Bridgeman: The numbers in the industrial grades employed in the Home dockyards and Admiralty establishments in October, 1928, were 46,757 men and 728 women.
Mr William Bridgeman: I think I have given those figures already, and I have not got them here. The answer that I gave a year ago to the same hon. Gentleman referred only to those who were borne on the dockyard books. These are rather different figures.
Mr William Bridgeman: The numbers borne—excluding officers—on the nearest available dates were:— On the 15th July, 1914 136,061 On the 15th July, 1928 92,921 I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate the particulars in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Mr William Bridgeman: I require notice of that question.
Mr William Bridgeman: The necessary inquiries are being made.
Mr William Bridgeman: Information regarding the number of ships on the Effective List of the Royal Navy on the 1st November, 1912, is not readily available, but on the 20th December, 1912, the number was 609. The corresponding number for the 1st November, 1928, is 399. I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate further particulars in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
Mr William Bridgeman: Yes, Sir.
Mr William Bridgeman: I really do not know how I can satisfy the hon. Member on this subject.
Mr William Bridgeman: If the impetuosity of the hon. and gallant Gentleman will restrain itself—
Mr William Bridgeman: That is a matter of opinion.
Mr William Bridgeman: Glading was employed as a mechanic examiner, and he was discharged because of his being a Communist; the action taken was within the competence of the Admiralty.
Mr William Bridgeman: Does the figure of 14 include built and building?
Mr William Bridgeman: By agreement.
Mr William Bridgeman: Before taking what part I hope to take from the naval point of view in the general Debate, I ought, in view of the very courteous way in which the Leader of the Opposition put a few questions at the end of his speech, to begin by replying to them. The first question which he put was with regard to reserves. All through this Debate there has been a suggestion that our attitude with regard to...
Mr William Bridgeman: The Foreign Secretary also added the following words to his statement: I am about to communicate with the other principal naval Powers the com- promise at which we have arrived in the hope that it may be acceptable to them also."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 30th July, 1928; col. 1837, Vol. 220.] On the very day when the Foreign Secretary made that statement, he communicated with the other foreign...
Mr William Bridgeman: Three of the five Governments there agreed to it. Nobody seems to remember that Japan agreed to it, making a majority of the whole five naval Powers.
Mr William Bridgeman: The more the merrier. It cannot be said, however, when you have three of the great naval Powers on one side, that the proposal is necessarily a very bad one and not worth considering. At any rate, you have the majority of the five. We proceeded on Mr. Gibson's advice to work on the principle of mutual concession. We made concessions, and the French made concessions. The French view was...