HC Deb 31 July 1844 vol 76 cc1577-623
Viscount Ingestre

assured the House he rose with the utmost reluctance to make the Motion of which he had given notice; first, because no one was more fully aware of the importance of the subject than himself; and secondly, because, in regard to inventions of this character, he had always felt that that House was the last place in which they ought to be discussed. The question of these inventions had been more or less before the country for a period of nearly or quite ten years, and for about half that time he had been in a great measure acquainted with the history of them. During that period he had tried, to the best of his abilities, both with the late and present Governments, and without any reference to party feeling, to have these inventions properly investigated by the Government, and, if approved, to secure them for the country without bringing them before the House of Commons. In his opinion these inventions were of paramount importance to the nation. For a long time he had been subjected to ridicule on account of his sentiments regarding these inventions, but notwithstanding that, and notwithstanding all the obstacles that had been thrown in his way, he was impelled by a paramount sense of duty towards his country to bring the question forward. He trusted the House would give him credit for that being the only sentiment by which he was actuated. He would now trace as briefly as he could the history of the matter. And first as regarded himself. In 1839 or 1840, he saw a paragraph in a newspaper, which, although couched in a very guarded manner, still attracted his observation, and in consequence he was induced to make further inquiry. He went to the office of the paper, and saw the editor, who told him that the paragraph had been put in by a private gentleman, whom he would refer to him (Viscount Ingestre). In consequence of this, certain parties waited upon him, and ultimately he was introduced to Captain Warner. He then inquired into the circumstance, and having taken great pains, he felt bound to say that he discovered great reason for further inquiry. The more he had inquired, the more he had found corroborative of what he believed to be the truth, and he was, therefore, determined not to lose a single opportunity of raising the question of this invention until it was proved to be of the greatest possible importance to this as a maritime country, or to be one of the grossest impositions ever palmed off. One or the other of these two it must be; but he was convinced that the former would be the proper appellation to bestow upon it. The first word that was heard of the invention was from Mr. Lukin, who held some situation in the War Office, and who happened to be in the country when Mr. Warner was testing the powers of his invention. Mr. Lukin thought it his duty to inform the late Sir Herbert Taylor, who in turn conceived himself bound to lay the circumstances before his late Majesty William IV. That revered and gracious Monarch, who yielded to no one in attachment to his country and its maritime interests, at once conceived, when he saw the invention, the same idea which he entertained of its vast importance. After much personal inquiry and investigation, the King thought it right to consult some high naval authority, and he referred to Sir Richard Keats, a man whose distinguished services were well known to the House and the country. That officer was deputed to inquire more fully into the invention, and there was reason to believe that his report was strongly in favour of securing it for the country. Sir Richard Keats, not content with his own opinion, called upon Sir Thomas Hardy, whose name could not be mentioned without the highest respect. Those two officers, he believed, fully concurred in their estimate of the vast importance of the discovery to the country, and reported to the Government of that day their opinion. It was a most unfortunate thing that these reports had been mislaid, but that they had existed, he had indirect evidence in his intercourse with Lord Melbourne. He presumed his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary would have no objection to state if any report was made to him in his then official capacity. Those reports were made in writing, and there was abundant evidence that there had been for two or three years constant intercourse between His Majesty and Captain Warner, and between Sir Richard Keats, Sir Thomas Hardy, and Captain Warner. Those were facts easily proved. Nothing, indeed, was easier than to say that the authorities quoted in favour of these inventions were now no more; but that was not the fault of the inventor; it was only a matter of regret that the services of such men had been lost to the country. With respect to the magnitude of the invention, he contended that because it was extraordinary, it was not therefore to be treated as merely visionary, or set down as the produce of the brain of an impostor. Hon. Members must recollect the introduction of steam, and gas, and railways. Let them then look back for twenty years and say whether, if any one had then asserted that some of the things now daily taking place were practicable, he would not have been treated as a visionary. Looking back still further at the invention of gunpowder, he contended that any person who before that era should have alleged that it was possible to fire from a tube an iron ball, weighing fifteen or twenty pounds, the distance of a mile, he would have been treated as the grossest impostor. That was the fate of all who invented anything out of the common way. But the truth would ultimately prevail, and he had no doubt that the truth of this invention would ultimately show itself It had been thrown out as a reproach against Captain Warner, that he went to Portugal with the knowledge of William IV., during the war be- tween Don Pedro and Don Miguel, and that he made a compact with Don Pedro to fit out a ship with stores, which he had not carried into effect; but it could be proved that it was by desire of his late Majesty. It had been proposed to bring the matter before the House, but that was prevented by the right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary, then First Lord of the Admiralty, on account of the secrecy it was desirable to preserve. A Committee was then appointed, of which Sir Robert Stopford was Chairman, but that officer thought the Committee too numerous for disclosures of that kind, and so the affair terminated. That was about the year 1832, when the Reform Bill was in the height of discussion, and his late Majesty thought it imprudent that such a matter should be committed to a Ministry when there was not a prospect of their remaining long in office, and considered that the subject had better stand over until the Government had assumed a more settled form. The present hon. Member for the county of Surrey having been informed upon the subject, waited upon Lord Melbourne, then Prime Minister, and asked him to investigate the matter. Lord Melbourne, being a civilian, very properly consulted the Board of Admiralty, who applied to the inventor. Captain Warner said he could not disclose the matter to any board in the country, constituted as boards were, of several members, with clerks and other officials, for it would then be impossible to maintain the desired secrecy. [Captain Pechell: "Hear."] The hon. and gallant Member cheered; but he (Viscount Ingestre) did not allude to the Board of Admiralty in particular, but spoke of the constitution of all boards. It was then thought that Lord Melbourne could not enter upon a subject of the kind without an opinion of some weight as a naval authority, and the person referred to was a very gallant, although an humble officer, Lieutenant Webster, who had been seventeen times in actions, and amongst others in the battle of Trafalgar. It was then said that Lieutenant Webster was a nominee of Captain Warner; but that was not the case, for to the best of his (Viscount Ingestre's) belief, Lieutenant Webster was not known to Captain Warner until after the appointment. Captain Warner had heard of him as a distinguished officer who had seen a great deal of practical service, and whose opinion was likely to have weight. Lieutenant Webster made his Report, and it was received at the Ad- miralty marked "Confidential," and it was opened by one of the Lords, not being that Lord to whom it was addressed, and who read it aloud, treating the whole affair with contempt. That surely was not the way to treat matters of such a nature. If confidence were expected, it ought to be given and that was not the proper way to treat a communication, even if trivial, if sent in confidence. This Report of lieutenant Webster, corroborating the opinion of Sir Thomas Hardy's strongly expressed, that nothing could stand against this invention, was treated with derision, and was thought to have been brought about by collusion between Captain Warner and Lieutenant Webster. That he distinctly denied. It was the report of an honest man, who desired to do his duty to his country. Then it was said that Lieutenant Webster was insane, that Sir Richard Keats was in his dotage, and that Sir Thomas Hardy only yielded to him from habits of intimacy and respect. Was it to be thought that an officer like Sir T. Hardy would, in a matter entrusted to him by his Sovereign, suffer himself to be guided by a man he supposed to be in his dotage? He (Viscount Ingestre) now came to the part he had taken in the transaction. After Lieutenant Webster's Report was made, which was on September 16, 1839, Lord Melbourne repeatedly sent to the Admiralty and called there to obtain that Report, but it was never sent to him; and in 1840 there was no Report from the Admiralty. He omitted to say that it was suggested that the opinion of the Board of Ordnance should be taken. Sir Hussey Vivian was then Master General, and when asked his opinion he treated the matter with ridicule, saying that be was incompetent to give an opinion. He waited upon Sir Hussey Vivian, who was under the impression he believed that Captain Warner was mad, and that be (Viscount Ingestre) was very little better. He had not found that out yet, however, although he certainly did entertain very strong opinions regarding this invention. The noble Lord read a letter from Captain Warner to the hon. Member for Hertford, private Secretary to Lord Melbourne, dated the 3rd of February, 1840; the substance of which was, after acknowledging the receipt of a letter dated the 1st of February, that it was then six years since his project had been entertained, that for a third of that time Sir R. Keats had investigated the discovery, and there were documents which showed his high estimation of its value, an opinion shared by Sir T. Hardy and His late Majesty. The letter then cited the Report of Lieutenant Webster, and stated that plans and details had been laid before Lord Melbourne, which had satisfied him not only of the importance and formidable character of the invention, but that prejudicial results would follow to Great Britain if it should be in the hands of a foreign power. The willingness of the writer was expressed to wait, in company with Lieutenant Webster, upon the Lords of the Admiralty, and give them every information, and also the consent of Captain Warner to the addition of Sir Hussey Vivian, provided that reference was to be final, and Lieutenant Webster were allowed to be present, who, as a naval officer, would be able to give elucidations in confidence. Finding matters in this state, he, after examining a variety of documents, was convinced it was a matter requiring further investigation, and waited repeatedly upon Lord Melbourne, stating his hope, that however opposed generally to his Lordship's Government in politics, he might be believed to have no party feeling on the subject, and offered his services and assistance in gaining an insight into the matter, at the same time imploring his Lordship not to turn into ridicule that which might prove of the greatest importance to the country. He was sure that Lord Melbourne attached great importance to the subject, if it were only from his allowing him to tease him upon it in the midst of his various and important duties as Prime Minister. However, he tried in vain to persuade his Lordship to appoint a Committee, or to do more than refer him from one place to another until he was very nearly tired out. He then suggested to Captain Warner that the better plan would be to make an experiment on a small scale, and that one or two officers of distinction, whose opinions would have weight in the country, should witness it. He then requested his noble Friend Lord Hardwicke to be one, and also the hon. Member for Ripon, who was not then in the House, but whose opinion would have great influence. On the 28th of July, 1840, an experiment on a smaller scale, still similar in effect to what was witnessed at Brighton the other day by a large concourse of people, was performed in a lake at Wanstead. No person who witnessed that experiment could doubt the efficacy of the agency employed. There could be no doubt about it. It was made in the presence of a right hon. and gallant Admiral, who authorised him to state his opinion to Lord Melbourne, that nothing could resist the power that was then brought into action; he also went the length of saying that no Prime Minister of this country could resist an investigation into a matter of such importance. It was his opinion that no description of vessel, whether propelled by sails or steam, against which this explosive matter was brought in contact could resist its force. He was glad to have evidence of so high a character to refer to, because it at once reduced the thing to a mere question of applicability. Now, he was prepared to say that it was most perfectly applicable under every variety of circumstances that a ship could be placed in; and that fact alone gave the matter a character of importance. He now stated, in the face of many officers on both sides of the House, and in the face of the country, that from his knowledge he was convinced of its practicability, and he would defy any one to prove to the contrary. In stating this to the House, he was stating it in the face of Europe and of all the world. He was continually urging the Government of that day to look into the matter, but it was always put off from time to time, and that at length brought him to the year 1841, when the late Member for Wiltshire, Sir Francis Burdett, heard of the subject, and who, with that public spirit which he always evinced, took a great interest in it, and made a Motion respecting it. He said that it would be more satisfactory to him if he could witness an experiment of a similar nature to that which had been made in 1840. In consequence, chiefly of that request, Captain Warner performed another experiment in the mouth of February, 1841. He (Lord Ingestre) on that occasion offered the same kind of advice to Captain Warner as he had done on the former occasion. He said to Captain Warner, "if you cannot get any persons belonging to the Government to witness your experiment, let me persuade you to have a few men of rank and station present, whose character, whether in office or out of office, would carry great weight with the country, and who, if any change of Ministry should take place, would most likely be put in office." Captain Warner adopted that advice, and accordingly there were present at the experiment Sir H. Hardinge, the present Governor General of India, Sir G. Murray, the present Master of the Ordnance, and his right hon. Friend Sir George Cockburn; and all these could give evidence to the enormous power which they witnessed to have been displayed by Captain Warner on that occasion. This explosive power having thus been proved by so many experiments, the whole matter, as he had before said, resolved itself into that of its applicability and portability. He would now proceed with his narrative. A short time after the experiment thus made at the suggestion of Sir F. Burdett, a change of Ministry took place, and in August or September, 1841, a new Parliament was elected; and he still feeling strongly on the subject, waited on his right hon. Friend (Sir R. Peel), who received him with the greatest possible kindness. He entreated his right hon. Friend not to allow a matter of this importance to escape his attention. His right hon. Friend said that he would not, but added, that as he was a civilian, he was bound in duty to consult those departments of the service to which the subject more immediately had relation. He did not complain of this, nor did he wish to make any attack on Her Majesty's Government; but he must be permitted to say, that he thought it was roost unfortunate for this country, and that it was one of the penalties which we paid for the great freedom and latitude we enjoyed in other matters, that questions of this sort must be looked at through departmental authorities, whereby matters of the greatest importance were often fritted away. He was disposed to think that this had been the case with regard to the present subject. The result of his interview with his right hon. Friend was, that his right hon. Friend consulted the officers at the head of the particular department to which the subject was considered to refer, namely, to Sir George Murray, and also the gallant Admiral near him (Sir George Cockburn). Shortly afterwards a negotiation was opened through the intervention of Lord Hardwicke, which resulted in certain conditions being proposed to Captain Warner, which in general terms he assented to. In consequence of that proposition, a memorandum was drawn up by Sir George Murray, the terms of which were most perspicuous. It was a most able document, and did infinite credit both to the head and heart of that gallant Officer. Captain Warner expressed himself perfectly satisfied with the terms proposed. This memorandum was to be the basis of all the experiments that were to be made, and it ran in these words:— There are three points to be attended to in considering Mr. Warner's discovery;—1. Its power. 2. The degree of safety and of facility with which it may be applied to useful purposes—naval, military, or any other. 3. The detriment which might result from allowing the discovery to be communicated to any other state in consequence of the neglect of it by the British Government. The discovery is the property of Mr. Warner; he has become possessed of that property through much bodily and mental labour, and large pecuniary sacrifices. He estimates it at a high value, and his opinions on that head claim considerable confidence. 1. On account of his intelligence. 2. On account of his practical knowledge and experience, especially in matters connected with naval affairs; and, 3. From the frankness he has shown in making disclosures and in exhibiting experiments, for the purpose of enabling others to form some judgment of the value of his secret. There appear to be but two modes of treating Mr. Warner open to the Government, either to intimate to him at once its total diregard of his discovery, thereby leaving him at liberty to pursue his own course respecting it, or to come to an understanding with him, as to a series of experiments to be made, under the inspection of competent persons, in order to satisfy the Government of the powerfulness of Mr. Warner's invention, of its applicability to purposes warrantable and useful, and of the detriment that might result from the neglect of the discovery and the discoverer. But in determining upon the nature of the experiments to be made, and upon the individuals to be appointed by Government to judge of, and report on them, every reasonable security must be afforded to Mr. Warner against the forfeiture of his property (this secret) without the certainty of a reward proportionate to the value which the proposed investigation of its merits may indicate that it possesses. With regard to the expense of the experiments proposed to be made it would seem, for the following reasons, to be very fit that it should be borne by the Government to an extent determined previously by estimate. The first reason why the expense should be borne by Government is, that experiments appear to have been already made by Mr. Warner after communication with His late Majesty, and to have been reported upon by persons authorised by His Majesty to judge of, and to report upon them; but in consequence of the demise of the King, the death of the persons authorised to report, and the unsucessfulness hitherto of the search made for that document, the fruit of these experiments has been wholly lost, both to Mr. Warner and to the public. Should it be deemed worth while to renew the investigation of the subject therefore on public grounds, it does not appear just that any part of the expense of doing so should be thrown upon Mr. Warner. The second reason why the expense should be borne by the Government is, that the magnitude and importance of the results, in a nautical point of view, which are supposed to be connected with Mr. Warner's discovery, and the limitations to be required as to its application, take it out of the sphere of those inventions which can be of limited utility only to the public, although their adoption for public purposes may be the means of remunerating and of sufficiently rewarding the individual inventor; whereas in the case of Mr. Warner's invention it is possible that Government might deem it advisable to acquire a property in the discovery only to obtain a right to exclude it from publicity. This memorandum was first placed in the hands of Captain Warner by Lord Hardwicke; Captain Warner consented to it and invariably adhered to its provisions. Every one would concur with him that it was a very explicit, very able, and very just document. It evinced a disposition on the part of the Government to deal most fairly with Captain Warner. In consequence of this memorandum being agreed to as the basis of a negotiation, a Commission was appointed to superintend the experiments, consisting of Sir Edward Owen and Sir Howard Douglas. Captain Warner agreed to this, and was delighted to have those two eminent men appointed to investigate his operations. But he added:— I am not to be expected to disclose more to those two hon. and gallant Commissioners than the general nature of my project, without some guarantee being given as to the remuneration I am to receive if my plan is approved of. It happened that soon after,—the 2nd of March—it was notified that Sir Edward Owen was to proceed to the Mediterranean and Sir Byam Martin was accordingly substituted in his stead. Captain Warner also agreed to this. Sir Byam Martin was prevented by indisposition from entering upon his duties, but previously to that a great delay had occurred in consequence of the attendance of Sir Howard Douglas at Liverpool as a candidate to represent that town in the room of Mr. Cresswell, who had been elevated to the Bench. These occurrences brought the matter down to a late date, causing, as they did, a great loss of time. A communication in the meantime took place between the Government and Captain Warner, in the course of which, Captain Warner stated that he was willing to abide by the agreement laid down by Sir George Murray, in the memorandum communicated to him (Captain Warner) by Lord Hardwicke, but begging that either Lord Hardwicke or himself (Lord Ingestre) should be appointed as one of the Commis- sioners, in order that there should be no unnecessary delay in making the experiments. It was hardly necessary for him to say, that if either he or Lord Hardwicke had been appointed they would have given a candid opinion as to the merits of the discovery of Captain Warner, without reference to any preconceived opinions they might have entertained on the subject. In answer to that letter, Sir George Murray said that there did not appear to him to be any reason why Lord Hardwicke or Lord Ingestre should be joined with Sir Byam Martin, to decide upon his (Captain Warner's) discovery. He was given to understand that the gallant Member for Liverpool (Sir Howard Douglas) and Sir Byam Martin, applied to Captain Warner for an explanation of the modus operandi, whereupon Captain Warner requested to know what remuneration he was to receive. But upon all questions of this sort, Captain Warner said, I wish success to be the test of what I am to receive. If I succeed in what I undertake to perform, let me be rewarded; but if I do not succeed, give me nothing. That, he (Lord Ingestre) conceived, was a very fair proposition. The Commissioners said that they had no power to assign any amount of remuneration, and were not authorised to do more than take a professional view of the question. On the 6th of May, 1842, Captain Warner waived his proposition for a direct remuneration, but said that he should be satisfied if the Premier would promise that, in the event of his (Captain Warner's) making good his discovery, he (the Premier) would undertake to recommend to Parliament a sum to be previously agreed upon. He mentioned these circumstances because it enabled him to go step by step in the narrative of these negotiations between Captain Warner and the Government. First of all a charge was thrown out in the course of a debate which took place two years ago, that Captain Warner had asked for the sum of 400,000l. [Sir R. Peel: "Hear."] The right hon. Baronet did himself, in the course of that debate, make such a statement, and he had no doubt that the right hon. Baronet, when making it, most fully believed it to be true; but he was convinced that the right hon. Baronet was labouring under some misconception at the time. It was needless for him to state that he put the most implicit faith in any statement which was made by the right hon. Baronet; but he (Lord Ingestre) believed that when the right hon. Baronet made that statement, it was made without his having referred to all the facts of the case. Shortly after (in May, 1842), a letter was addressed by Captain Warner to the right hon. Baronet (Sir R. Peel), in which he proposed to leave the question of remuneration entirely to his own arbitration. The right hon. Baronet said he had referred the whole matter to the Master General of the Ordnance (Sir George Murray), to whom he requested Captain Warner to make all future communications. Upon the receipt of that letter, Captain Warner solicited an interview with Sir George Murray, in order to demonstrate the inexpediency of the plan pressed upon him by the Commission; the Commissioners having laid down certain experiments which they thought were necessary to demonstrate the truth of Captain Warner's proposition, and the existence of that power which Captain Warner asserted that he possessed. The hon. and gallant General (Sir Howard Douglas) had on one occasion, he (Lord Ingestre) was informed, during his continuance on the Commission, and after Captain Warner had shown him to a certain extent how to apply this power, exclaimed, "Why, it is so very simple there is no reason why I could not do the same;" and the hon. and gallant General had recently said that he could perform the same operation as was performed the other day at Brighton. He (Lord Ingestre) would be very glad to see the hon. and gallant Officer do it; he would gladly provide a ship for the hon. and gallant Officer if he would attempt the experiment. But he was certain that the hon. and gallant Officer could not do anything like it. It was quite evident to all who had witnessed the experiments that they had nothing whatever to do with gunpowder. This was evident, first, from the way the explosion took place; secondly, from the decks of the ship not having been blown up; and, thirdly, that there was no charring or burning of any part of the wood. Captain Warner wrote to complain of what was stated by the hon. and gallant General; and he regretted that the gallant General should have so prejudged the case. He must have done it in the warmth of the moment, for there was not a more worthy member of that service in which he held so high and distinguished a position in this country. When Captain Warner solicited an interview with Sir George Murray, he received an answer from that hon. and gallant Officer, stating that he was indisposed, and begging that any proposition he wished to submit should be made in writing. Captain Warner's argument was this:— The Commissioners (he said) call upon me to adopt a series of experiments, which, from their want of knowledge of the thing they had to deal with, would incur an unnecessary expense, and also lead to a disclosure of my discovery. I am perfectly willing to comply with the request of the Commissioners if the Government, will undertake the risk of incurring the expense necessary to carry out the experiment. Captain Warner offered, over and over again, to lay before the Cabinet the whole matter, and take their orders what he was to do, either before the Commissioners or not. This communication took place before August, 1842. He now arrived at the Motion of Sir Francis Burdett, on the 4th of August, 1842. He was at that time out of the country, or he should have said that it was a very unwise proceeding to bring it on at all, because no one was prepared to correct the misapprehensions which prevailed in the public mind at that time. After that debate, the hon. and gallant General and Sir Byam Martin threw up the Commission. In that debate the hon. and gallant General (Sir Howard Douglas) took a very prominent part, and threw out sneers and insinuations, as to the manner in which Captain Warner's former experiments had been conducted. The hon. and gallant Member indulged in certain contemptuous phrases, of not being a party "to the blowing up of punts in a fish pond." ["Hear."] He could assure the hon. and gallant Member for Brighton, who cheered, that much more able experiments had been made than was performed off the town which the hon. and gallant Member so ably represented. He thought that, as a Commissioner, it was the business of the hon. and gallant General to have inquired into the matter, and that any one who was appointed a Member of a confidential Commission ought to be very careful what he stated, either in public or in private, relating to what had been laid before him as a Member of that Commission. He must take the liberty of remarking that it was a very hard case that the seal of secrecy should be taken off the moment that the Commissioners' duties ended. If he were appointed on a Commission, he should feel it his duty to withhold any information he might possess, unless he were applied to by the parties whose interests had been confided to him. On the 4th of July, 1842, Sir George Murray wrote to Captain Warner, offering to lay before the Government any modification of the terms of his (Sir George Murray's) memorandum which Captain Warner might wish to propose. On the 5th of July, 1842, Captain Warner proposed either to make an unreserved disclosure of his plan to the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government, and to Sir George Murray, leaving the question of remuneration entirely to them; or secondly, referring the matter to a Select Committee of the Cabinet, leaving it to them to say what experiments should be adopted. These offers were, he would not say rejected, but were treated with indifference. As soon after this debate as possible, he waited upon the right hon. Baronet at the head of Her Majesty's Government, and that right hon. Gentleman, after all that had taken place in the debate, and after a very intemperate letter which Captain Warner had written, owing to certain aspersions which were thrown on his character in the course of that debate, and which reflected on him in no very measured terms—after all this the right hon. Baronet was kind enough to say that the matter should be again referred for consideration. It was so, and two other Commissioners were appointed. He had not the honour of knowing either of them. He believed Colonel Chaloner was a very upright man, nor had he any reason to hold a different opinion of Captain Caffin. He must, however, here remark, that one of these gentlemen was known to be a disciple of Sir Thomas Hastings, who entertained a very strong opinion against Captain Warner's discovery. That gallant Officer held a high position in the service, which he had attained very honourably to himself, and with credit to the profession of which he was an ornament. That Commission being appointed, they called upon Captain Warner to make an estimate of the experiment, which they considered necessary to form their opinion. That was perfectly right. Captain Warner prepared an estimate at 2,500l. He was then called upon to make a more detailed statement. He did so, making it very nearly approach that sum; but he said, at the same time, when the Commissioners objected to the amount stated, I am called upon in making this experiment to perform what you, not knowing anything about the mode of operation, ask me to do. I think when I go a little way in the matter with you, you will see that it is not necessary that all this expense should be incurred. An old hulk of the brig Forester was one expense, which cost between 400l. and 500l., and then there was the hire of a steamer for a month. It was quite obvious that if the experiment had been made at first, the expense of a steamer would have been avoided. After this correspondence, and after six months had elapsed the Commissioners offered to give Captain Warner 500l. to carry out the experiment. He naturally said, I wish you had told me this six months before, because I should have told you that, as an honest man, I could not do it. But if there is any difficulty to entrust me with the necessary amount, entrust it to some other persons, who may see it well applied. He contended that Captain Warner had not in the least shrunk from making this experiment. All he required was the word of the Government, that, if his experiment was successful, he should have a proper remuneration. That was a very different thing from asking for 400,000l. for his invention, which he admitted Captain Warner did in the first instance. Captain Warner had two inventions, each of which he estimated at 200,000l. That was the first blush of the matter. But afterwards he said he was prepared to leave the question of remuneration entirely to the arbitration of Government. Captain Warner was anxious to secure this invention to his own country. He could prove that very large sums had been offered to him by other Powers for his discovery. He was anxious to state the truth on this matter, and the whole truth: he did not wish to conceal a single point in reference to this question; and he must read a portion of a letter, addressed by Captain Warner, on the 9th of September, 1842, shortly after the renewal of the negociation, to Sir George Murray, in which he stated his own case:— In the last letter I had the honour to receive from you, dated July 4th, you requested me to point out any mode I could suggest capable of testing any inventions with satisfaction to Her Majesty's Government, and at the same time with safety to the preservation of my secret. To this I immediately replied by suggesting what I humbly conceived would be the most advisable course to take with regard to the investigation of my inventions. I have not been honoured with any answer to my letter; but I presume to address you once more in compliance with an intimation to that effect from Sir Robert Peel, upon the position in which I am placed; and as a considerable portion of that reserve for which I have been so severely censured and cruelly misrepresented, has been maintained by me in pursuance of your recommendation to be cautious in my disclosures, I feel myself entitled respectfully to claim your protection. I will not trouble you with a repetition of my former letters but beg you to re-peruse them, and you will then see how much my meaning and wishes have been misapprehended, even by Sir Robert Peel himself, as to my stipulations for remuneration, and unwillingness to exhibit, experiments. In my last letter to Sir Robert Peel, as well as in my last address to yourself, I distinctly left the whole question of remuneration to Sir Robert Peel, feeling satisfied that I might safely rely upon, him and the country for an adequate reward, whenever the value of my discoveries should be duly understood. It was, therefore, with no ordinary pain that I heard it stated in the House of Commons that I insisted upon receiving the sum of 400,000l. before I would make any disclosures whatever. This is a most erroneous statement; but this and many unfounded charges have been circulated in the public newspapers in every varied form of derision and abuse. With respect to some misrepresentation, made by Mr. Brotherton in the House, I did send a refutation of them by means of documents in my possession, to Sir Robert Peel; but the larger portion of the calumny heaped upon me I bore in silence, determined to await the return of Lord Ingestre to this country, his Lordship having been unluckily absent from England when the charges in question were made in the House, and then take his Lordship's advice as to the course I should adopt. Lord Ingestre, who has been a firm friend to me from the first hour I was introduced to him, did me the honour to address Sir Robert Peel, and solicit an interview, at which his Lordship might in confidence disclose the great danger of making experiments in the way I have been pressed to do, and also explain how unfounded were the many reports put in circulation against me. Sir R. Peel replied to Lord Ingestre's communication by recommending my writing to yourself, and it is in pursuance of that recommendation I now venture once more to address you. With respect to the invention which I have designated "Long Range," you are yourself aware how easy it would be for me to convey any number of my shells into any fortification or town at any given distance, from half a mile to six miles. With this power I could also approach any town or battery in the night time unperceived by an enemy, and throw in my shells in a way which I have explained to you, without the chance of the party attacked being able to tell whence they came. I allude to my spike shells, the form and weight of which you have seen. I will not, in addition to what. I have already communicated to you, enlarge upon the destructive effects I can accomplish against fleets and ships at sea, but will remind you of the peculiar formation of a ship, a sketch of which I showed you, with which I could go boldly alongside any line-of-battle ship and give her a broadside point blank with 100 of my 24lb. shells, repeating the flight, if necessary, within a minute. I also beg to remind you of the construction of a gun I showed you. I was anxious, and still am so, to have had an interview with you and the Prime Minister, to explain to him that the charge made against me for bringing the negotiations to an abrupt close is incorrect, and that the reason was the utter incompatibility, from the nature of the things themselves, of performing the experiments I was called upon to make by the Commissioners. For instance, I was to repeat the experiment of the invisible shells three times in different depths of water. This with the same vessel is impossible. Again, I was ordered to exhibit my "Long Range" six times, which as you, who know the agent I employ in that operation, are aware, though easy to effect, would be unadvisable, as risking so much of disclosure as might, supply hints to others how to employ instruments, if not so terrible as mine, still sufficient to travel great distances by the help of an agent at once so powerful, so simple, and so abundant. I am convinced that, with a proper previous understanding, the experiments in both these inventions might be so conducted as to give all reasonable trial of their powers, and at the same time avoid risk of disclosure. For instance, it would be easy for me to show, in the first place, the explosive power in my shells, and subsequently, they might be tried blank in every variety of depth of water and of weather, and made to show that a ship, in whatever circumstances placed, could not escape them; and also the ease and safety with which they might be handled. So also with the "Long Range;" I think it would be sufficient to show, by a series of experiments, my power of conveying missiles, with precision, the distances I assert; and, either before or after, give satisfactory proofs of the force of the explosive power contained within them. In short, then I am prepared to make any experiments that Sir Robert Peel, or the Cabinet, or yourself, may pronounce necessary; and have never objected to any but such as would risk the loss of life, the danger of disclosure, or were incompatible with the nature of my inventions, which some have thought to deal with as with a common shell charged with gunpowder, or the ordinary combustibles in common use. You have yourself repeatedly cautioned me to be most guarded in my reference even to the agent employed in accomplishing my "Long Range," but. I hereby authorise you to disclose it in confidence to Sir Robert Peel, and he will then understand the reason for that reserve and reluctance to make repeated ex- periments, for which I have been so cruelly taunted by two hon. Members of the House of Commons. I never professed to be a theoretical man of science, nor represented myself as an officer in Her Majesty's Navy; but with respect to scientific attainments, Sir Howard Douglas commented on my want of them, as if I was a detected imposter, and Sir George Cock burn expressed his satisfaction that I was not an officer in the naval service of this country, as if I had been guilty of hoisting false colours. I am a plain practical man, who have hit upon inventions which you know are of great national importance, and I am sailor enough, though not in the Royal Navy, to know how to apply those inventions to the swift and sure destruction of the largest fleets and the strongest arsenals. Finally, Sir, I must appeal to you, after the explanations I have given youself, and the repeated injunctions you have laid upon me to be most guarded in my communications, to extend to me your protection so far as to set me right in the estimation of the Prime Minister, who sanctions my addressing you again, and before whom I have been, I apprehend, much misrepresented; I lay claim to no scientific education; on the contrary, I have disavowed again and again such pretensions; but I do lay claim to the possession of secrets of importance to my country, and much mistake the temper of the English nation, if they will suffer an important invention to be quashed by prejudice and ill-will, because the inventor is not a highly educated man, and does not bear a commission. I know it is the fate of all inventors to be treated with suspicion, and must not complain because I am not exempted from their common lot. I have endeavoured through now a long course of years, most trying, on account of pecuniary difficulties, but still more so from delays and cruel misrepresentations, to secure my inventions to my own country, which I am prepared to prove, if allowed to do so. If this, my last appeal to you for an interview, or at least, your communicating with Sir Robert Peel so far as to place me right in his estimation, and secure me other treatment than that of a reckless, unprincipled adventurer, fail, I must resign myself to a despair of ever devoting to the service of my native country inventions, to perfect and preserve which, I have laboured so long, and suffered so severely. There was a great deal of good sense in these remarks. It would easily be understood by the House how difficult it was in a matter totally new to explain it briefly to any person. He was not sure that he had made his meaning very clear; but he was convinced that the matter might have been arranged, and he hoped that it might still be arranged, so that this invention might not be lost to the country. He was aware that he had incurred the sneers and the derision of many of his political friends; he could not help that. He had a duty to discharge which he owed to his country and to his own conscience; and that was to endeavour so to state this matter to the House that at least he might not accuse himself of having been instrumental in forcing this vast engine of power to leave this country, and, perhaps, being taken to hostile shores. In reference to the recent experiment at Brighton, he could not refrain from expressing his warm admiration of Mr. Soames, the great shipowner, who gave the vessel to be experimented on. He felt that the invention of Captain Warner might be of the utmost importance to the commerce of the country, and who had done what the Government would not do. Whether the invention were for good or for bad, the motives and public spirit of Mr. Soames deserved the highest applause. He apprehended that that experiment needed little description from him, it had already been described over and over again in the newspapers, and he might add, that the description in its general features was perfectly accurate. As to the document which had been published, signed by Captain Henderson, Captain Dickinson, and himself. Captain Henderson was, he believed, well known to an hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite. His opinion and that of Captain Dickinson were equally valuable, and there could not be a doubt after their testimony, of the terrific power displayed in the experiment at Brighton. It could be repeated in every variety of form, and under every circumstance of wind and tide. It had been too much the fashion to ridicule the importance of the invention, called "the invisible shell;" it had been always said, "We do not want to hear any more about your invisible shell," but let us see your "Long Range." He (Lord Ingestre) would state what could be done with the invisible shell; one single ship would by means of it be able to defend this country against the proudest fleet that ever was at sea. It would prevent any fleet getting out of any harbour or roadway: he would instance Toulon or Spithead, and any number of ships at anchor within those ports could be destroyed by a single ship without the possibilty of escape. Supposing this country were at war with France, which God forbid, the invention might be used effectually. He did not want any of the inventions to be employed. Providence, in its wise decrees, had allowed these destructive powers to be dissovered, and for ought he knew, the discovery of them might be the means of preventing war instead of promoting it; if Great Britain went to war she might say that she was content with her present means of maintaining her dominion of the sea; if she possessed this new power, she might never use it; but there was no reason why these inventors should be driven for their reward to foreign states. If these inventions were to be used, in God's name let them not go to other countries. As to the invisible shells, everybody knew that Brighton was an exposed place; it was very possible, in time of war, for French steamers to come over and bombard the town; it required very little experience to know that if the steamers approached within a certain distance, many parts of that splendid town might be laid in ashes. If Captain Warner's invention were resorted to, no steamer could approach the place. He challenged any man to prove the contrary. It was impossible to avoid the result, that if the French steamers came near Brighton, they would be destroyed. He felt strongly on this subject; and notwithstanding all the taunts and ridicule with which he had been assailed, he would state his conviction, his honestly entertained conviction. It had occasioned him a good deal of ill-will among his friends—he ought not perhaps to call it ill-will, but sneers and derision—not so bad as ill-will, but still not very pleasant. He had acted from a sense of duty to his country, and with no other object on earth. He regretted that he had been called upon to state the case, and wished that long ago it had been investigated, and that the invention had been secured to Great Britain, to be used against her enemies whenever the occasion should arise. He thanked the House for the attention it had paid to his statement, and moved for copies of the correspondence between Captain Warner and Government.

Sir R. Peel

said, I beg to second the Motion of my noble Friend, for I am determined that the public shall at length be in possession of the correspondence respecting the invention of Captain Warner, and thus be enabled to judge why, after the correspondence I hold in my hand, inviting Captain Warner to exhibit his invention before professional men, the experiment has not been made. My noble Friend has spoken as if Captain Warner were placed much in the situation of the inventor of gunpowder—that he has been treated with ridicule, and deprived of the opportunity of bringing his invention to a fair test. I wish the public to judge whether that is a correct representation—whether the Government has not given Captain Warner every opportunity he could expect, consistently with those precautions, all will admit, Government ought to take in matters of the kind. I shall make no reference to what happened previous to my accession to office, farther than that I am bound to say, from what I have seen of the correspondence respecting the proposal of an experiment, that I do not believe the late Government treated Captain Warner in any other manner than the present Government has treated him. I do not believe that it desired to refuse Captain Warner a fair opportunity of exhibiting the effect of his invention; but those now present, who were connected with the late Administration will be able to speak upon this point with greater authority. It is totally beside the question what opinion King William may have expressed; those who act upon official responsibility must judge for themselves, and public departments cannot adopt any man's opinions, but must employ their own means by the command they have over professional persons competent to arrive at a decision. If they come down here for a vote of public money for an invention, it is not merely the opinion of King William that will induce the House to grant it; the invention must have undergone the ordinary tests, and by them the House will be governed, and not by the opinion of King William. My noble Friend has stated correctly, that in 1841, shortly after the accession of the present Government, Captain Warner's proposals were renewed. He stated himself to be in possession of two instruments of most destructive power—one called the Invisible Shell, and the other called the Long Range. A specimen of the power of the Invisible Shell was given the other day at Brighton, and I had an opportunity of witnessing an experiment of the same kind, but upon a smaller scale, on a pond at Wanstead. I now avow, and never have concealed, that the power was most formidable. I saw a vessel blown up as completely as by any barrel of gunpowder it could be done. I was told that it was accomplished by an invisible shell brought under the bows of the vessel. I had no opportunity of examining it, but I had no reason to doubt that the vessel was destroyed in the way stated. This invisible shell, however, al- ways appeared to me of much less importance than what was termed the Long Range; because Captain Warner professed to be in possession of a projectile power which would enable him to destroy fleets and towns at any distance varying from one mile to six. I am very glad that my noble Friend has relieved me from all reserve upon the subject. He appears as the advocate of Captain Warner, and moves for the correspondence, to the production of which I have no objection. I will give him as much of it as fully establishes the relation between Captain Warner and the Government, and I shall refer to nothing that it is not my intention to produce. I will withhold nothing that will enable the public to form a judgment upon the course of proceeding adopted by Government. Captain Warner said, that he was in possession of this Long Range, and he gave the following account of it:— I can project, he said, 100 shells of most destructive power, and I can repeat the operation with rapidity. If I threw them into Gibraltar, in a few hours not a man would be left alive in the place. This I can accomplish at almost any distance. By means of my Long Range I could bombard a fortress, and, with a single vessel, could cut out a fleet in defiance of the garrison. I could have demolished Algiers, instead of merely damaging it, as was done by Lord Exmouth with his splendid fleet. After that, I could, with a comparatively small refit, undertake to destroy Toulon. This was Captain Warner's account of his wonderful invention, and we felt that a person in possession of such a tremendous power was not to be treated with disrespect. On account of the mere importance of his discovery, he ought not to be so treated, and he was treated in no such way. "I will receive, I said, his statement on the assumption that it is all true; but one thing I will not do — I will not pledge myself beforehand to the payment of a large sum of money." This I told him I would do. I will appoint some of the most eminent professional men in the service of the country. I will not go to particular departments, and to the officers employed in them, but I will take from the service generally two or three most distinguished men. They shall not require the disclosure of your secret: they shall only witness its operation, in order that they may be perfectly satisfied that all that has been promised can be done. They shall make their report to the Go- vernment, or to me individually, if you prefer it, in order that it may not go farther. If they first take the Invisible Shell, they will have to see that it can be applied under adverse circumstances of wind or tide. Then they must be assured of the safety of those who use this power; and, thirdly, they must have an understanding how long the Government shall be in possession of the secret after they have purchased it. I reserved to myself the entire power of determining how much it was worth; and I wanted, moreover, to be assured that when we had obtained the secret, by paying for it, we should have the exclusive use of it. I felt that we ought to have the security that we could ourselves manufacture the same explosive materials, and that we ought to know how long we could retain the secret; on the first failure, for aught we know, it might be picked up by our enemies, and made use of against ourselves. I will not, said I, enter into any such blind bargain as that, supposing you blow up a ship, you shall receive a certain sum. Whatever may be done, or whatever may be stated in debates, I never will consent to any engagement of the kind, for I am aware of the disputes that will be immediately raised, even if I could foresee that the experiment would be as successful as that at Brighton, the other day. I would not enter into an arrrangement to give even 5,000l. to Captain Warner. A communication having been made from my noble Friend, I wrote to the Master General of the Ordnance, asking him to communicate with the Admiralty. I said, "Take two persons in your respective departments, whose opinions will carry weight and authority with the country," and the individuals named to me were Sir T. Hastings and Colonel Pasley. Upon this said Captain Warner, "I decidedly object to them: I will not submit my discovery to them." I replied, very good; but that objection shall not prevent the fair trial of the experiment; I think the objection unreasonable, but let us select two other officers. Accordingly two were appointed,—namely, my gallant Friend, Sir Howard Douglas and Sir Edward Owen. Shortly afterwards, Sir Edward Owen was appointed to the command of the Mediterranean, and Sir Byam Martin consented to take his place. The Commission, therefore, consisted of Sir Howard Douglas and Sir Byam Martin, and I appeal to the House whether a fairer or a better choice could have been made—whether it was possible to commit the trial of the experiment to two men in every way better qualified to form a sound judgment. I will read to the House the first communication they made to Captain Warner, and leave it to decide whether it was possible for two men to enter upon this inquiry in a fairer, juster, or more liberal spirit. We are required, in the first instance, to ascertain the expense which may attend a series of experiments, in order that such a statement may be submitted to the Treasury previously to any expense being incurred on the public account. With this view, we think it right to inform you, that it is our intention, first, to have your "Long Range" exhibited, and afterwards a practical illustration of the effect of the "Invisible Shells;" in both cases, the materials to be prepared on such a scale as you may deem to be necessary for real service. For your further guidance, in estimating the expense of preparing our materials, it may be proper to say, that we think the "Long Range" may be required to be shown six times, and the "Invisible Shells" three times; but in stating the proofs which we think might be sufficiently frequent, it is by no means our intention to put limits to the operations you may consider necessary and satisfactory. You will be pleased to state if any, and what assistance of cannon or otherwise you may require from the Ordnance Department, or any other branch of Her Majesty's service; also, if it is your wish to be assisted by men belonging to the Royal Artillery, or if it is your intention to be assisted only by people of your own. In the first case, it is necessary we should know the number of men you will require; in the last, the charge you will make for your own men. For the greater security of the secrets you desire, we shall be very willing to have the experiments made in an unfrequented part of the country, as may be practicable; and the place and time known only to ourselves, and to such persons as you may require to be present. We leave it with you to fix upon any locality in England provided the place affords space and convenience for the purpose. Such was the first communication of the Commissioners with Captain Warner. It is an excellent rule, in general, that those who profess to have made discoveries should prove their value at their own expense; if not, the cost might be incalculable; and only this very day I have received no fewer than four proposals from persons, all professing to have made discoveries at least as powerful and as destructive as those of Captain Warner. They all require that the experiment should be tried at the public expense, contrary to the usual rule, which was not, however, applied to the case of Captain Warner. After public attention had been so much drawn to the subject, and after the speeches in this House—after the display of, I admit, a considerable power by Captain Warner—I consented that the public should bear the expense of a limited experiment. Out of this consent grew the letter of the Commissioners I have just read, and this was Captain Warner's reply, dated 11th of April, 1842. I have carefully considered the letter with which you have honoured me, requesting to know the probable expense of a series of experiments illustrative of the nature and effects of my discoveries; also the number of artillerymen, cannon, and ordnance stores which I may require to have placed at my disposal. With respect to all these, I do not require either artillerymen nor cannon for the demonstration of my powers, which are quite distinct from the ordinary weapons of warfare, as I have explained at some length in the communication explanatory of the effects I undertake to produce by my inventions, which I had the honour to submit, through Lord Hardwicke, to Her Majesty's present Government, and to which I beg leave to refer you, and request your careful perusal thereof. You express a desire to see an exhibition of the powers of my 'Long Range' first, and then, some practical illustration of the efficacy of my 'Invisible Shells.' With regard to the reversal of the order in which the investigation was commenced, I do not think it advisable. As I have already commenced my explanations, with reference to the 'Invisible Shells' to Admiral Sir Owen and to Sir Howard Douglas, I think it better to complete that investigation first, and then proceed to the 'Long Range.' If an experiment is insisted upon, I am quite prepared to make one, and enclose, according to your request an estimate of the probable expense as well as I can, in the absence of any specification of what you require to be done. I however submit to your consideration whether this expense might not be avoided, when I can refer, as eye-witnesses, to the following gentlemen now holding high offices of State:—the First Lord of the Treasury, the Master General of the Ordnance, the Senior Naval Lord of the Admiralty, the Secretary at War, Lord Hardwicke, Lord Ingestre, R.N., adding, that the two last-named Lords, together with Sir George Murray, have not only witnessed experiments, but have entered into the question of the practicability of my plans. I might subjoin to the above list the name of Lieutenant Webster of the Navy, an officer of much experience, but since it has been insinuated in the House of Commons that his judgment may have been influenced by feelings of private friendship, I do not press him upon your attention, though I beg leave to assure you that there is no foundation for such observation. Moreover, I will refer you to Secretary Sir James Graham, for his knowledge of the opinion entertained by the late Sir Richard Keats of the efficacy of the invention in question. The last part of this letter refers to the destruction of the vessel at Wanstead, of which I was an eye-witness; but I never saw an experiment with the Long Range. Of what use was it, then, to refer to me as the First Lord of the Treasury, for I feel myself wholly incapable of forming a judgment; professional men, accustomed to matters of the kind, could only judge properly of this explosive power. The Commissioners, therefore, wrote to Captain Warner a most proper letter, in which they stated that they had been appointed to witness the experiment themselves. They wanted, they said, no information from the First Lord of the Treasury, and they repeated their demand for an estimate of the expense. It was at this period that Captain Warner stated what compensation he required in the event of success. My noble Friend has affirmed that I made a great mis-statement to the House when I asserted that Captain Warner required 400,000l. in the event of success in his experiments; this he mentioned in a letter addressed to Lord Hardwicke— In conclusion, I submit the terms on which I am willing to dispose of my discoveries; first, for my 'Invisible Shell,' 200,000l.; secondly, for what I have designated my 'Long Range,' also 200,000l. This was Captain Warner's proposal on the 2nd November, 1841, immediately previous to the appointment of the Commission consisting of Sir Howard Douglas and Sir Byam Martin. The Commissioners informed him that they were ready for him to proceed with his experiments, and the reply they received on the 20th April, 1842, was to this effect—that Captain Warner most respectfully acknowledged the receipt of their letter of the 16th, in which they stated that they had no authority to award remuneration. Captain Warner went on to observe that, as remuneration was the basis of his offer, it was impossible to proceed further until they had received authority to promise the remuneration he had asked, on proving his ability to effect what he had undertaken. In this communication Captain Warner also referred to his claim of 400,000l. and concluded by adding that under these circumstances it was unnecessary to trouble the Commissioners with a detailed answer to other parts of their letter. This was on the 20th of April, 1842, and then it was that Captain Warner referred to his former communication, claiming 400,000l. as his reward; there can, therefore, be no doubt upon that point. In consequence, Sir H. Douglas and Sir B. Martin very naturally said there was an end of their Commission—they had no authority to promise that sum, or any other, and they closed their duties. It was after this that Captain Warner said, "I will be content to take any remuneration the first Lord of the Treasury will promise me;" but the Commissioners replied that their powers were at an end, and that they could not give the matter any further consideration. Reference to the Commissioners, and to their letters and the answers, will show that caution on my part as to money was not misplaced; but there was also some inquiry instituted, and certain questions were put to Captain Warner, parts of which, with his replies, I will read to the House. The Commissioners asked him: How long is it since you satisfied yourself of the powers of your Long Range and Invisible Shell?" Captain Warner answered: "Twelve years as to the Long Range, and twenty-seven years as to the Invisible Shell. I sunk two French privateers at the end of the war, one off Folkstone and the other off St. Valery's Bay." When asked what vessel he was in at the time, his reply was, that it was called the sloop Nautilus, that it was a King's vessel, and that it was commanded by his father, William Warner. The next inquiry was, "Whether such an extraordinary circumstance as the sinking of two privateers in this way had not of course been reported to the Admiralty?" "No (was the answer), we were not under the Admiralty, for the vessel was employed by the Secretary of State Lord Castlereagh in landing spies," "Then was the destruction of the privateers reported to the Secretary of State?" "I do not know; it might have been." "Were the facts recorded in the log of the Nautilus?" "We did not keep a log." "Did you receive head money on the destruction of the privateers?" "No it was not claimed.' "Were any of the crews saved?" "No, none; and the facts were only known to myself and another. Such were the assertions of Captain Warner, and the Commissioners sent first to the Admiralty, to learn if there was any record there of the destruction of two privateers, and the answer was, that not a vestige of such information could be found. They then resorted to the Foreign Office, because the vessel was said to have been employed by it, but there was no trace there of anything of the kind. Thus, according to Captain Warner, the vessels and their whole crews were sent to destruction without any reward and without any record in any department. Observe, too, the account given by Captain Warner of his proceedings with his Long Range. He told them that it had been tried in the presence of Sir Richard Keats, with a two-pounder, at the distance of three miles. The mention of a two-pounder at three miles is most important, but Captain Warner would not gratify the curiosity of the Commissioners by repeating the experiment. However, the projectile was sent from a cannon, and in Hainault Forest. When asked how he had proved the "desolating power," as he termed it, of his Long Range, Captain Warner answered, that he had tried its effects on some islands off Vigo, as well as upon the trees in the Forest of Hainault, at a distance of three miles. He added that he was at a distance of more than six miles from the islands off Vigo, and that the projectile tore up and shattered the rocks to a great extent. What was wanted was merely the repetition of this experiment. The ship offered by the Admiralty, the Forester, was amply sufficient for the purpose, and without disclosing his secret, a successful attempt, not at six miles, but at three or four, would have been held sufficient. The Long Range was to be tried first, and then the Invisible Shell. Most marvellous effects can be produced with detonating powder; but, then, another question is, whether it can be handled with safety. We do not merely want to see a vessel blown into the air, because the Board of Ordnance can do that, but we want professional men to accompany Captain Warner, and to see how Captain Warner applies his power with security. Above all, we want to see his Long Range—how he can destroy forts and rocks at a distance of six miles. The mention of a two-pounder shows that cannon are employed, and it is not merely attaching a shell to the tail of a kite, or to a balloon, which may travel six miles through the air, that will do; anybody can accomplish that without Captain Warner's aid, but he must mean that he can project his power in some way so that a ship, not at a distance of six miles, we do not require that, but at a distance of four miles, shall be destroyed. This was what was required to be done to satisfy the minds of the Commissioners, but Captain Warner refused to do it: the Commission was consequently at an end, and my gallant Friend Sir Byam Martin very naturally made it is urgent request that he should never be invited to try any more such experiments. Nevertheless Captain Warner was not yet satisfied, and my noble Friend still pressed to be allowed to prove the value of the invention. A debate took place here, and just after it Captain Warner published letters which certainly were not very complimentary, but that was no reason why he should be deprived of the opportunity he sought so earnestly. On hearing, therefore, that Captain Warner was dissatisfied with the course taken by Sir H. Douglas and Sir B. Martin, I wrote again to Sir George Murray, and told him that Captain Warnet was sincerely desirous of bringing his inventions to the test, My letter is contained in this bundle of correspondence, and this other may be said to contain the first act of the drama. I requested Sir George Murray to confer with my gallant Friend, the first naval Lord of the Admiralty. In consequence, two other officers were selected, not of as high rank as their predecessors, but of great professional experience, and of unblemished honour—I mean Colonel Chaloner, of the Engineers, and Captain Caffin, of the Navy. Captain Warner proposed that a third, to be named by him, should be added, but I replied that it was not a question of arbitration, but an experiment to ascertain the truth; the two officers were to make their report to the Government, and I declined adding a third name, that of my noble Friend Lord Hardwicke. The new Commissioners wrote to Captain Warner that Government was willing that he should try his experiments, and they would bear the expense. What was required was, that they should witness the destruction of a vessel, and should accompany Captain Warner on board the steam-boat that was to be employed on the occasion. Captain Warner, in reply, said, "I positively object to your being present and upon those terms I will not try my experiment." We said, "if the experimentalists are not to be on board the steam-boat, let us waive the objection," and we called upon Mr. Warner to state an estimate of his experiment. I said again, that I would not enter into a blind pledge to pay 100,000l. in the event of a certain contingency, but I will appoint two gentlemen to consider the experiments, and to make a report to the Government; we promised to bear the expense, but I wished him to make an estimate of the expense; and before I could consent to incur an unlimited amount, I wanted to see Mr. Warner's estimate of the expense of the materials. I confess that I was startled at the estimate of the expense. Many projectors are content to receive 2,000l. or 3,000l. for their whole reward; but Mr. Warner required 2,700l. for his experiment with the Invisible Shell, and 2,470l. for his experiment with the Long Range, making in the whole 5,170l. as the expense of trying his experiments. My answer was again, that the experiment we desired to see was that with the Long Range, that we might therefore spare the expense of the experiment with the Invisible Shell, and proceed with that which we deemed the more valuable; and seeing what had been done at Folkstone, in St. Valery, and in the Forest of Hainault, I thought 2,500l. a very large sum. I offered to place 500l. under the control of the Commissioners as a beginning, they would then watch the experiment, and the result would show how much further it should be carried. Mr. Warner for a long time objected to this proposal, but at last, though he said that the experiment would cost more than the 500l., he did consent to try the Long Range, and he said he would try and get his friends to advance the remainder of the money, intimating pretty clearly that he would have no difficulty in finding such friends. But after a certain period, Mr. Warner informed us that it would be impossible for him to make the experiment, as he could not find friends to advance the difference. The Commission also terminated with that explanation; and thus terminated the relations between Mr. Warner and Her Majesty's Government. I have already stated, that in what we did we departed from the general rule with respect to the expenses; and though we were anxious that this most important experiment should be performed, it was our duty to prevent any lavish expenditure, and to forbear from entering into any engagement to advance a very considerable sum—if not 400,000l., at least 200,000l. or 300,000l., depending upon a contingency which could not be foreseen. I maintain, therefore, that the Treasury, and every department of the Government, have acted with great liberality towards Mr. Warner, and I hope that the House will be of the same opinion; but I cannot sit down without saying, that from all my experience with respect to inventions, and with respect to Mr. Warner, nothing shall induce me to consent to enter into any engagement to pay 400,000l. or 100,000l. contingent upon a certain vessel being destroyed. I will know the mode of destruction—I will know the value of the invention—and I will know the power we have to prevent that its being used by other nations, before I will stipulate on the part of the public that that very large sum shall be advanced; and if the House shall depart from that principle, there will hardly be any limit to engagements in which the public money will be spent. In order to show the necessity for caution in this particular case I must refer to some additional evidence given by Mr. Warner. He said that any man-of-war could be altered to carry his apparatus. He was then asked, as it might be desirable to place a shell at the disposal of each commander-in-chief, whether each vessel could carry it, and he replied that it must be a vessel expressly fitted for the purpose, and attached to the fleet. Upon being asked how many persons it would be necessary to employ, he said that one man only in the fleet need be in the secret. If this were so, what precaution could be taken that the secret would not be lost; and there could be no security that the secret would not be communicated, except the integrity of the person entrusted with it? To which Mr. Warner replied, that, of course, if they told a person he would be in the secret, but that no one ought to have it but the Prime Minister and the person who was to manufacture it, and that his instructions in writing would be quite sufficient. Now, Sir, I certainly should object to be the depositary of the secret, or to employ the one person to manufacture it. I am sure that there cannot be a worse person with whom to deposit the secret than the Prime Minister, and I am sure that if there be not some other mode of preventing other powers from perverting it to hostile purposes, there cannot be a more useless instrument, and it is a responsibility which we ought not to incur. Mr. Warner was next asked, "Then the man would require 400,000l. or he would betray the secret?" and the reply was, "He did not think an Englishman would do such a thing." I am sorry that my noble Friend has imposed upon me the necessity of entering into these details; he says that he appeals to the House of Commons from the decisions of the former Government and of the present Government. He says that we have treated Mr. Warner without due consideration or due regard; but I am satisfied that for these details the House of Commons is not the proper tribunal for appeal, and notwithstanding what has passed, I think that the fullest opportunity has been given to Mr. Warner to exhibit his Invisible Shell and his Long Range; and if he has not, I am satisfied that the fault does not rest with the Government or with the Commissioners, but is to be ascribed to the fact that Mr. Warner has failed to do what he had promised to perform.

Mr. W. Cowper

thought it had been shown that the present Government had done all that lay in its power to have the experiment fairly tried, and he did not think that the previous Government had been guilty of any neglect, because when the proposition was first made to Lord Melbourne's Government, it was felt not to be a matter on which a civilian was capable of giving an opinion, and Lord Melbourne therefore referred Mr. Warner to one of the Lords of the Admiralty. Sir Wm. Parker undertook to examine the invention; and having obtained permission that another Lord of the Admiralty should be associated with him, it was referred to them, and not to the Board of Admiralty. They never did fully examine it, for it appeared that Mr. Warner upon that occasion demanded a large sum, he believed 16,000l., before Mr. Warner would proceed to put his experiment to the test; and it was to be observed that all through the negotiations Mr. Warner preferred applications to the Treasury rather than to the Board of Admiralty or of Ordnance. The difficulties always rose on the point of money, and not on account of any differences upon the scientific part of the inquiry. Mr. Warner had always required that the experiment should be bought first and tried afterwards. The noble Lord who had introduced this sub- ject had displayed a proper national feeling against taking this invention to a foreign country, or allowing it to leave our shores; but he had heard from high authority that the invention had been offered to a foreign power. He had heard that the experiment had been offered to the Government of Prussia, and that the negotiation went off on account of similar differences to those which had occurred in the present case. The Prussian Government required, before it would guarantee the payment of a certain sum of money, that they should themselves be able to judge of the success of the experiment. To this Mr. Warner would not consent. He required them to pay the money, and then he would tell them the secret of his invention. If his information in this respect were correct, there was additional reason why they should believe that the various Governments which had succeeded each other, and had failed to come to an arrangement with Mr. Warner, were not so much in the wrong as appeared to the noble Lord. He could only speak of one particular Government; but it appeared to him that none of the Governments had been guilty of any neglect; that Mr. Warner had had opportunities which he ought to have taken to test his experiment; and he trusted, after the correspondence should have been given, that if Mr. Warner should wish for the power of performing any other experiment, he would have it.

Sir Howard Douglas

said, his right hon. Friend, at the head of Her Majesty's Government had so fully stated the case, that, he had left him, (Sir Howard), little to say. He was delighted to hear it was the intention of Her Majesty's Government to produce the whole of the correspondence and proceedings of the Commission, attacked as it had been; because he was satisfied the House and the country would see, that every opportunity and facility had been afforded to Mr. Warner, to demonstrate, by actual experiment, the powers of his alleged inventions, and that he (Sir H. Douglas) and his gallant colleagues had acted throughout, in a spirit of the utmost fairness, liberality, and kindness towards Mr. Warner, He (Sir H. Douglas) would take this occasion to contradict a statement made in a Report of the Brighton experiment which appeared in the Times Newspaper, that the proceedings of the Commission of which he was a Member had terminated in consequence of contra- riety of opinion between the Commissioners, as to the mode of proceeding, to test the powers of Mr. Warner's alleged discoveries and their applicability to the various circumstances of real service. Now, so far from this statement being fact, he would say there never could have been, under any circumstances, a more perfect uniformity of opinion than that which prevailed between the Members of the Commission. With Sir E. Owen, as well as with Sir B. Martin, his (Sir H. Douglas' views and opinions precisely coincided. From the outset they were of opinion, that the "Long Range" if proven, was the only portion of Mr. Warner's discoveries that could be of any real-service utility, though they were ready to make experiments with his invisible shells. Sir Byam Martin having succeeded Sir Edward Owen, wrote a very able minute on 31st March 1842, expressive of his concurrence in the views and proceedings of his predecessors, and the Commission met a few days afterwards. They took into consideration all Mr. Warner's alleged powers, as he asserted and described them—the closing up of roadsteads by what he calls invisible shells, so that no ship or fleet should get out or in; the invisible shells, flung from the stern of a vessel chased, to destroy the chasing ship; and, above all, the "Long Range." The Commission came to the conclusion, that the "Long Range" as described by Mr. Warner, appeared infinitely more destructive and important, than the invisible shells; and resolved accordingly to proceed, forthwith, to test its powers; for whatever might be the explosive power of the invisible shells, it appeared to the Commission that they would not be found applicable to the various circumstances of actual warfare, from the difficulty of laying them out in face of an enemy, particularly in a sea-way and strong tide, and from the length of time this operation would require. The case was put to Mr. Warner, suppose a fleet of twenty sail of the line at anchor in Torbay, the distance between Beachy Head and the Mewstone being four miles, how long would he be in blocking up that Bay, with his invisible shells. He answered, an hour and a half. Now, this operation would necessarily require a great number of shells, connected, in some way, with each other, to form a continued chain. The shells might be made invisible by immersion; but unless Mr. Warner could render himself invisible likewise, he could not approach, without detection, an enemy's fleet, observing the usual precautions of rowing guard and having outside cruisers. How then was this to be effected? He said he should use a large steamer; or, on account of the inconvenience of the paddles, a screw steamer; that he had never tried this with steamers, but had laid out the invisible shells with sailing vessels. The shells were to be anchored, the lengths of cable adjusted to the soundings, and to the rise and fall of the tide; and in strong tide-ways to have moreover stay anchors. Why to apply the invisible shells in this way, to actual service on a large scale, would require a squadron of steamers, boats, or sailing vessels; and to attempt, in the face of an enemy on the alert, the operations of sounding, regulating the services of cable, connecting the fougasses with each other, and anchoring them across the entrance of an extensive bay, was something very like the old plan by which sparrows might be caught, by laying salt on their tails. The experiment made at Brighton was of the same description as that which had been very fairly designated "blowing up a punt upon a fish-pond." The Brighton experiment was only on a larger scale, with a greater dose of the explosive composition. In the one case a punt, or barge, was towed, unavoidably, to its destination, by an old horse; in the other, a vessel was dragged, inevitably, to her fate, by a steam-tug, from the stern of which, two cases or shells were dropped, one on either side of the tow-line, so that it was impossible, the fated vessel could escape. Applying this to actual service, the invisible shells thrown into the water from the stern of a vessel chased, would only intercept a space equal to her breadth, and would not come in contact with the chaser unless she were following exactly in the wake, and the tide or current setting exactly in the direction in which both were moving. It appeared to the Commission that this mode of using the invisible shells is still more inapplicable to the circumstances of real service than the other. Whatever may be the explosive power of the invisible shells, he (Sir Howard Douglas), and his gallant Colleagues, were firmly of opinion that the "Long Range" is the only part of Mr. Warner's alleged powers, deserving of national consideration, and to that they were determined more particularly to apply themselves. The Commission proposed to Mr. Warner, in a letter which the right hon. Baronet had not read to the House, to pro- ceed to make experiments with the "Long Range," as well as with the invisible shells, and called upon Mr. Warner to furnish them with a statement of what he required to enable him to prove to the Commission, and the public, the efficacy of his powers. The House will perceive, by the papers to be laid before it, that Mr. Warner wished to provide the vessel against which to try his destructive powers. The Commission acquainted him that they had already procured two; for that providing the vessels to be destroyed, was no part of his secret. They resolved that he should never see these vessels, till taken to the bay or roadstead which the Commissioners might deem most fit and fair for the trials, and even then, that he should not be allowed to approach nearer, than he could, on service, to an enemy on the alert. The Commission meant nothing offensive to Mr. Warner, but they were resolved to protect the public against the remotest suspicion of collusion. Then it was the duty of the Commission to ascertain how far the alleged powers could be used with safety to the users. For this, the Commission would have tried the effect of shot striking or perforating the invisible shells. He would venture to assert that a composition so explosive, as not to bear either percussion or concussion, could not be a projectile; and that the effect of a shot striking one of these cases, would be to blow up the whole concern, vessel, and all. For the experiments with the "Long Range" the Commission had selected the 12_gun battery at Dimchurch wall, on the coast of Kent, and was quite ready to proceed to the trials, when their functions were brought to an abrupt termination, by Mr. Warner refusing to exhibit his powers, unless the Commission would give a guarantee as to the payment, which they were not authorised to do, and which formed no part of Sir George Murray's minute of the 22nd January, 1842, which formed the basis of their instructions. Indeed they had stipulated that they should have nothing to do with the question of reward—they had only to witness the effects of the experiments, report the result, and leave Her Majesty's Government perfectly free to act thereafter as they might deem fair and just to the individual and public interests. Thus, as the House will find, the functions of the Commission ceased, by Mr. Warner refusing to comply with conditions to which he had expressly assented. Reference had been made by the noble Lord the Member for Staffordshire, to the speech delivered by him (Sir Howard Douglas) on the Motion made in that House by the late lamented Sir F. Burdett, in August, 1842. Now, he (Sir H. Douglas) had then ceased to be a Commissioner, and he would appeal to the House, whether that Motion did not impugn the conduct of the Commission and tall upon him (Sir Howard Douglas) to explain as he had done. As to what the noble Lord had said of disclosures of the secret, none whatever were made to the Commission, Mr. Warner was invariably warned and enjoined not to answer any question that might in the least tend to disclose any part of his secret; he was told that the Commission had only to arrange with him the experiments necessary to ascertain the mode of action, and the applicability of his inventions to all the circumstances of real service. It had been asserted, too, that the proceedings of the Commission had been interrupted in consequence of personal differences with Mr. Warner. This he {Sir Howard Douglas) most, distinctly denied. The House will see that there was no other difference than that the Commissioners would not take Mr. Warner's large assertions for granted; and insisted on making the searching and stringent experiments, which the Commissioners deemed necessary to test the powers of the alleged discoveries particularly with respect to the "Long Range." For himself he (Sir H. Douglas) had never seen Mr. Warner, but in Commission. Everything that passed there, was settled previously by the Commission, every question put by it, and all their proceedings minuted and annexed to the Correspondence which the noble Lord had moved for, and which, attacked as they had been, he (Sir Howard Douglas) was glad was to be produced. The Government had done everything in their power to enable Mr. Warner to prove the astounding powers he asserted; the Commission had done their duty, fairly and impartially, to the individual and to the country, by the arrangements they made for conducting the experiments on a large scale, and at the public expense, and the manner in which they urged Mr. Warner, to come to the test. The Commission might now appeal with perfect confidence to the Papers which Her Majesty's Government had been called upon to lay upon the Table of the House, to explain the whole truth, and show the manner in which he and his col- leagues endeavoured to discharge their duty, according to the instructions they had received.

Sir C. Napier

I thought, Sir, when I heard the first part of the speech of the noble Lord, that I had reason to differ from the late Sir Hussey Vivian, who doubted his sanity, but when towards the conclusion of his speech the noble Lord told us that one vessel could keep a whole navy in port, I confess that I almost came over to the opinion of Sir Hussey Vivian. It is really astonishing that any naval officer, possessing the talent of the noble Lord, should set his head, I may say, wool-gathering, and fancy such things possible: I look upon them as wild schemes. The noble Lord has given us the statement of how Captain Warner has been treated by the late Government; and if that statement be correct, as of course it is, Captain Warner does appear to have been knocked about from post to pillar. The case at first fell into the hands of Sir Thomas Hardy and Sir R. Keats. There is no Member in this House who does not know the merits of those officers. It is singular that they should die, and that no report should be found: it is notorious that they were men of business, and were not very likely to have lost their papers. Captain Warner then goes to Portugal. I have just some notion that I heard of Captain Warner in Portugal; but if he had inquired, he would most likely have been able to have found me out. I certainly would have tried his experiment, it would just have answered my, purpose. The noble Lord says that Mr. Warner was desired by the King not to use his power against Don Miguel. Where is that authority of the King. I should very much like to see his wish not to use this power on behalf of a constitutional Queen against a usurper. But, in the next place, Mr. Warner certainly does appear to have been ill used. His case comes to Sir Robert Stopford; and he cannot enter upon it, because the number of the Commissioners was too large. It would have been very easy to reduce the number. However, this was not done, and Mr. Warner was thrown over. This was extraordinary; but it is still more extraordinary that he should be upset by the Reform Bill. What the Reform Bill had to do with Mr. Warner's invention I am really unable to guess. Then Lord Melbourne was teased by the gallant Officer, but he did not attend to him. What did Mr. Warner do next? He picked up an old lieutenant in the Navy on half-pay, who knew nothing of what he ought to know, to form a correct judgment. I come now to the experiment which was tried on the fish-pond. I have no doubt that Mr. Warner does possess an extraordinary exploding power; but there is not a chemist of eminence in the country who does not possess some such power; there is chloride of nitrogen, which the chemists cannot come near, they are afraid to look at it; and I have been told this very night by Dr. Reid, that if you touch it with a feather you explode it. I can understand, then, how Mr. Warner blew up the two vessels at Folkstone and St. Valery, and the one at Brighton. Why, the same thing was done forty years ago, on the 14th of October, 1805, in Walmer Roads, I have the account of it here:— An experiment of a new invented machine for destroying ships at anchor, was tried in the Downs, and succeeded in the most complete manner. A large brig was anchored abreast of Walmer Castle, about three quarters of a mile from the shore. Two or three gallies then rowed off, and placed the machine across the cable of the brig, which, by the running of the tide, was soon forced under her bottom, about the centre of the keel, where it attaches itself. In a few minutes the clockwork of the machinery having performed its operations, a small cloud of smoke was seen to rise from the vessel, which in a moment after was blown to atoms, without any noise or appearance of fire. In about twenty-seven or twenty-eight seconds, not a vestige of the brig was to be seen, as the fragments were then level with the water's edge. General Don, with a number of military and naval officers, went with Sir Sidney Smith to Mr. Pitt's, at Walmer Castle, to witness the experiment, and expressed the utmost astonishment at the destructive powers of the invention. What was that invention? It consisted of two copper vessels filled with 200 lbs. of gunpowder, more or less; these two copper vessels were attached by chains; they were dropped by a boat one on each side of the vessel to be destroyed, the tide caused them to float under the counter, and then the vessel was blown up. That was done with a given quantity of gunpowder. I believe that Mr. Warner performed the same kind of operation. He dropped one on each side or one under the counter, and whether it was completed by clockwork or a trigger, the effect was the same, only Mr. Warner's was the smaller body. How did this former discovery work in practice? I had just served my time and passed as a Lieutenant, and, having nothing better to do, I went as a volunteer on an expedition against the French flotilla, under Sir Sidney Smith. We were sent in the most curious collection of boats ever known. The Gemini, the Cancer, and every other animal, and we were sent to blowup the French flotilla at Boulogne. We were under the orders of as gallant an officer as ever sailed, Captain Seckem. It was on a November night; we went in five or six boats; our feet were chapped. There were pegs in the coppers to be thrown, if they dropped out there was the dread of explosion; our teeth chattered with cold, our hearts quailed with fear, lest the pegs should get out. Captain Seckem was determined that we should run close under the enemy, and in getting so close he ran us ashore, so that there was a finish for that night. We went the second night, we saw our own vessels off the harbours, and were going to blow them up by mistake for the enemy, but they cried out lustily, and so we left them alone. We had no cutlass, we were wholly unarmed, we were to blow up the enemy, or be taken, or get away. After we had changed the boats the boatswain got frightened, for he saw the peg out. I ordered them to chuck the copper overboard, and overboard it went. There was not one of the enemy touched so far. Captain Seckem dropped down again. When we came alongside the vessel he forgot to cast off, the copper was hoisted and out came the peg, the copper was then thrown overboard, and it kept up a great noise for some time to our horror and astonishment. That was the whole history of the thing after 20,000l. or 30,000l. had been expended, and we were almost blown up ourselves. Now, the noble Lord has talked about blowing up; why, if he will sit quiet and allow me to put a few ounces of detonating powder under his bottom I'll blow him up to his heart's content. A few years ago Captain Warner showed me a picture of a whole fleet blown up by his apparatus. I said, I don't care two straws about your shells, I want you to give me your Long Range, and tell me you can blow a ship up seven miles off. But Mr. Warner said he would blow up all the ships in Portsmouth harbour from the back of the Isle of Wight. I said to him, if you will prove to the Government that you can blow up a ship six or seven miles off, I will stand up in my place in Parliament and say I have seen you perform this extraordinary operation. Throw aside your Invisible Shell altogether, and use your projectile; but he always returned to his Invisible Shell, and always shied off the six miles. I wrote to the right hon. Baronet at the request of Mr. Warner. [Sir R. Peel: "And I sent the letter to the Ordnance."] I said to Mr. Warner, if you can throw your shell upon a camp three or four miles off I will say I saw you perform such an operation. I saw, however, that Mr. Warner was not easily to be dealt with, and I have never troubled myself about it from that time to this. I think the only thing that Mr. Warner has reason to complain of with regard to the present Government is this. He asked them to allow either the Earl of Hardwicke or the noble Lord opposite to be added to the Commission, I think the Government might have done that. Either of the noble Lords would, I am sure, have done their duty to the Government and Captain Warner, as well as the other two Commissioners. As to asking 400,000l. for an implement of war, which, as the right hon. Baronet has said, perhaps never could be used, in consequence of the danger attending it; and even if it could be used might fail, I think is quite out of the question. Besides, such a power, if it really exists, can not be concealed from the whole world for any length of time. I think, however, that the. Government has given Captain Warner a fair chance. I will give him another. I will tell him to go to South Sea Castle, and I will turn a ship out by the Havant light, and if he can blow a ship up there from the castle, I shall be satisfied.

Mr. Aglionby

The gallant Commodore had only proved that a number of years ago a destructive machine was employed, which turned out to be an entire failure; but that did not show that Captain Warner might not be more successful; and what he complained of was, that this debate was going on in the absence of information. However able the Commissioners might have been to whom the right hon. Gentleman had referred the matter, their examination was not of the most satisfactory description, and the conclusions to which they had come from some of Captain Warner's answers to their questions, were not well founded. Captain Warner told them that he would communicate in writing to the Premier the nature of his invention, which would be a sufficient security against its dying with him, and also against its being made known to any foreign power. He also said that he might require a sloop or a steamer, and then it was stated that he would require a whole fleet of sloops and steamers; but this was unfair, as Captain Warner had spoken only of one or the other—of a steamer when a sloop was objected to. He thought a fair trial ought to be given, and that Captain Warner's experiment was worthy of further consideration. He did not understand much of the subject; but from what had passed in the discussion, he thought the Long Range would be the most useful. He thought some allowance might be made to Captain Warner, and some experiments carried on with regard to the Long Range at all events. It would be, unquestionably, an act of folly on the part of Her Majesty's Government to grant any sum of money for the mere explosion of a vessel or a rock without knowing something more about the invention; but he thought the inquiry should be a fair one. He had no personal interest whatever in the matter, but surely it was not too much for him to ask that the experiments should not be tried by an ex parte Commission, without any person being present on his part. He hoped, therefore, that the subject would not be lost sight of, and that the right hon. Baronet would not refuse to accede to any proposition of a reasonable nature for the reinvestigation of this subject; and if it was of the tremendous nature which Captain Warner stated, a fair compensation should be given for it.

Mr. Brotherton

said, that if the invention did answer all the objects that Captain Warner said it would effect, he very much doubted the policy of the Government encouraging by premiums the invention of such destructive machines. There would always be persons bringing forward something new; and if all the schemes were to be tried which might be offered to the Government there would be no end of the expense. He thought, therefore, that the Government had exercised a wise discretion as to the invention of Captain Warner. It was said that he had sold the invention to Don Pedro for 500,000l.; but it came to nothing, because he would have the money down before he made it known. He was informed by a gentleman who wrote to him at the time, that there was a battery which much annoyed Don Pedro, and Captain Warner said he would effect the destruction of it; but he went on from day to day and week to week, and nothing was effected, and his friend told him that he thought Captain Warner could not effect what he professed. It was the Long Range that was wanted then he supposed, and he said he was waiting for ordnance from England, and so it went on, there being always some excuse made. It was also said that Captain Warner had offered his invention to Prussia. However that might be, he would repeat that he thought it would be unwise of the Government to offer inducements to the people to invent such machines, for as sure as they were brought into operation, other nations would get hold of them as well. He had no doubt that another generation would look with astonishment at the fact that they had spent so many hours in discussing the merits of cannon, muskets, and all sorts of destructive machines.

Mr. Wakley

said, they must think of the present, and not of a future generation, when neither himself nor his hon. Friend would be able to give an opinion on the subject. The hon. Member for Cockermouth (who had just left the House) had said that he hoped the matter would not end here. He (Mr. Wakley) thought he understood the right hon. Baronet to say that he was prepared to make an offer to Captain Warner with reference to the trial of the experiment, which must be satisfactory to every person of impartial mind in the country, and that was especially as to the Long Range. He supposed there would be no objection to try the Invisible Shell if the other proved successful. There was a good deal of feeling out of doors upon this subject, the people being apprehensive that such a power as that claimed by Captain Warner might be possessed by a foreign power. If they had a countryman of their own who had made an extraordinary discovery, although it might apply to warfare, he thought he ought to have the greatest facility for bringing it into operation and proving its value. He did not, however, think that the Government had acted unfairly on this subject It was now offered to Captain Warner that he should try his experiment at the expense of the Government, He wished the noble Lord who had made the Motion had given an account of what took place at Brighton, instead of which he had only referred to the newspapers, and he did not think, from the statements in the newspapers, that the experiment was worth a straw; for they stated that Captain Warner had been on board the vessel, and that he dropped just under it, before it was blown up. That was not the way in which he would be able to blow up an enemy's ship. Supposing the Long Range were to be tried, the Government should say to Captain Warner, "We will appoint a competent Commissioner to inspect what you may do at Brighton. Go down there on a Monday morning, and a vessel shall be directed to sail towards the coast, which you shall endeavour to destroy, and you shall have half an hour's notice of the approach of the vessel, which shall come within half a mile of the shore, and the parties on board her shall be totally unconnected with you in any way whatever." If such a course were adopted, and Captain Warner succeeded in blowing the vessel up, the country would demand that he should be properly compensated. It was ridiculous for a Gentleman to say that he had got an instrument that would destroy an enemy's ship, and in exhibiting his experiment go alongside the vessel, coax her into acquiescence, and then blow her up. The power, no doubt, was great; but it was the application of it that appeared doubtful. He had brought the subject before the House some years ago, at the instance of a scientific gentleman, who had a conviction that Captain Warner possessed the power which he said he had, and he was still of the same opinion. He thought that Captain Warner, in the trial of the experiment, should be relieved from all expense. He was sure the public would require that the experiment should be tried on a fair and honourable footing.

Sir G. Cockburn

would not prolong the debate; but he merely wished to explain how the experiment at Brighton had taken place. He had an officer of artillery in a boat close to the vessels, who saw a shell thrown over the starboard side of the steam-boat that had the vessel in tow, and she had a boat which helped her to adjust the rope; two buoys were attached together by the rope, which was thrown in the way of the vessel, which was moving at the rate of three miles an hour; the rope then took the cutwater of the vessel be- tween the buoys, which were dragged under; a tension of the rope was then caused, and it struck the hammer or the stuff to which the explosive material was attached, when the explosion took place. The officer told him that the explosion had the effect which would have been produced by two barrels of gunpowder. It was well known that nitrate of silver, chloride of nitrogen, and many other things would have had the same effect. Any value which attached to the experiment would depend on the success of the Long Range. He said when he first saw it, that if it would send such a power five or six miles, Captain Warner would be entitled to any compensation. But invisible shells he looked upon as worth very little; they were thrown about in every direction at the Chesapeake, and he looked upon them as nothing.

Lord Ingestre

would assent to the offer of the right hon. Baronet, whose misapprehension he had no doubt would be cleared away by the result. The invention was easily applicable, and was also portable, With regard to the experiment at Brighton, everything was done in a fair and straightforward way; and Captain Warner would have been equally sure of success, if he had tried the experiment on a ship that had just come off Brighton, The Government declined to be a party to the experiment, so Captain Warner had been compelled himself to bring the ship to Brighton; but he was prepared to assert that the ship contained, at the time of the experiment, no explosive materials whatever. Captain Warner had not been on board her after she was taken in tow; and the statement of anything being thrown overboard from the steamer he believed to be untrue. Although he had an array of officers, telling him that the invisible shells were worth nothing, he had no hesitation in telling the House and the country that they were worth all they had been stated by Captain Warner to be; and if a ship could be destroyed by the Invisible Shell, why should they adopt the other method? If they accomplished everything they wanted without a projectile, why use it? He was obliged to the gallant Commodore for his offer to place some gunpowder under a certain part of his person and blow him up—but he only hoped that he might sit along side of him when he tried to perform the experiment. He was pre- pared to prove before any public tribunal in the world, the correctness of the statement as to this extraordinary power possessed by Captain Warner. He felt confident as to the success of Captain Warner, either as regarded the Long Range or the other mode; and he conceived that if that officer succeeded in carrying what he said into effect, he ought to be rewarded.

Motion agreed to.