MR. H. BERKELEY
said, he wished to ask a question of the hon. Gentleman the Secretary of the Admiralty. Considerable attention had been called to a vast quantity of wreck which had been lately driven on shore on the coast of the county of Banff, in Scotland, and much excitement had been raised respecting it, as it had been conjectured to be possible that it formed a portion of the unfortunate steamship President. He wished to ask whether the Admiralty were in possession of any information, or had made an inquiry into the subject.
§ MR. STAFFORD
begged to thank the hon. Gentleman for giving him the opportunity of stating to the House the circumstances which had occurred. It was true there had been a considerable quantity of wreck washed on shore on the coast of the county of Banff, and the Admiralty had taken steps to institute an inquiry by sending to the spot an able naval officer for that purpose. After having carefully examined the scantlings of the timbers which had been cast on shore, he communicated the result to the owners of the many steam vessels that had been lost of late years, and among them the owners of the President, at the same time requesting them to inform him what were the dimensions of the scantlings of their own vessels, in order that a comparison might be made with the dimensions of the timbers forming part of the wreck. From some of these parties answers had been returned; but, as far as the examination had hitherto gone, the impression was, that the scantlings among the wreck were not those of the President. The inquiry was still being prosecuted, and, when it should be complete, he would communicate the result to the House.