HC Deb 06 February 1854 vol 130 cc270-1

said, he begged to ask the right hon. Baronet the First Lord of the Admiralty whether it was probable that an office would be established to co-operate with Captain Maury and the American Government in oceanic and other scientific observations; and whether the important collections of observations on currents, winds, and temperature, already in possession of the Admiralty, would be rendered accessible to the head of the proposed office?


said, he was happy to inform his hon. Friend that, amidst more pressing and less peaceful occupations, the subject to which he had adverted had not failed to attract the attention of the Government. The President of the Board of Trade and he (Sir J. Graham) sent Captain Beechy to the Conference at Brussels, and in consequence of his report, it was the intention of the Government to appoint an officer to whom the observations made both on board merchant ships and Queen's ships would be referred. A Vote for this purpose would be taken in the Navy Estimates; and orders had been issued to the commanders of Her Majesty's ships, directing that meteorological observations should be made every four watches—that was, once every four hours—in every part of the world where Queen's ships were employed. An opportunity of making similar observations would also be furnished to a select number of merchant ships—not fewer than one hundred—and the result of all these observations would, be returned to the Board of Trade, where they would be digested. They would then be communicated to Captain Maury, as would also the reports already received.