27 MARCH 1909, Page 2

In the House of Commons during the past week the

debate on the Navy Estimates came to a conclusion, the heart having been taken out of the discussion by the knowledge that all the questions concerned would be reopened in the debate on the vote of censure which ,takes place on Monday. On Thursday Mr. Gretton asked the Prime Minister some questions as to the statements of the German Government in regard to their shipbuilding programme. But Mr. Asquith, after giving a certain amount of information about those statements, declared that any comments on the bearing which the information received from Germany may or should have upon our own programme must be reserved till the forthcoming debate. In answer, however, to a question from Mr. Byles as to whether he might understand that the Prime Minister's statement meant that his Majesty's Government were mistaken in supposing that there had been any acceleration in the German building, Mr. Asquith gave the emphatic reply : "No, Sir ; certainly not."