§ MR. LAIRD
said, he rose to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, The date when the iron-cased ship Royal Oak is expected to be ready for sea; and whether, in order to test the sea-going capabilities of a wood-built vessel cased with heavy armour 409 plates, it is the intention of the Admiralty to commission her for service as soon as she is ready; and also, the date when the Royal Sovereign was ordered to be cut down and altered into a cupola ship, and probable time of completion for trial; also, what armament it is proposed she is to carry?
§ LORD CLARENCE PAGET
said, the Royal Oak was expected to be out of the hands of the dockyard authorities on the 19th of March, and she would be commissioned immediately for service. The Royal Sovereign was ordered to be cut down on the 3rd of April, 1862, but her armament had not yet been decided upon; neither could be state exactly when she would be ready He trusted, however, that she would be completed by the end of the year.