§ MR. RYLANDS
said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, What number of Vessels and of Men are at present stationed on the West Coast of Africa, and if he can now state the actual reduction he purposes making in 1528 that squadron before the close of the present year?
§ MR. CHILDERS
said, in reply, that on the 1st of January, a few days after he took Office, he found, upon the West Coast of Africa and at the Cape of Good Hope, sixteen ships, containing 1,806 men. When he made his statement on introducing the Navy Estimates he explained that the ships had been reduced from sixteen to fourteen, and the number of men to 1,450. Since that time the ships had been still further reduced from fourteen to thirteen, and he contemplated the reduction of another ship, and a reduction of the number of men to 1,350. Since the present Government had been in Office there had been a reduction of four ships and about 500 men in this squadron. He would repeat what he had said in answer to the hon. Member (Mr. J. Lowther), that the squadron on this coast was not employed for the suppression of the slave trade, but for the protection of our commerce, as in other parts of the world.