HC Deb 10 June 1864 vol 175 cc1593-4

said, he rose to move for copies of a communication made to the Admiralty by Sir W. Snow Harris on the organization of the proposed School of Naval Architecture. It was most important that the House should have every possible information on that subject. He objected to the Vote for the institution on the ground of its being placed at Kensington, and one of the principal reasons given for having it there was, that it afforded an opportunity of having a staff of professors; but it appeared that there was no such staff, and to provide them would render a large outlay necessary. Then they were told that they were suitable apartments available at Kensington, whereas the school was held in a ramshackle kind of shed. It was impossible to tell what the expense of the institution might be, and he wished to know whether the scheme for the institution had been submitted to the Treasury, and if it had investigated whether the system was likely to answer, and its probable cost?

Amendment proposed, To leave out from the word. "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words "there be laid before this House, Copy of a Communication made to the Admiralty by Sir W. Snow Harris on the organisation of the proposed School of Naval Architecture,"—(Mr. Augustus Smith,) —instead thereof.

Motion made and Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."


said, he was sorry his hon. Friend so pertinaciously opposed the school of naval architecture, which had been generally called for by the public. The Government itself shared in that opinion, and the school in question had been projected by the Government in deference to the policy of the country, and because they themselves thought it would be productive of considerable advantage. A site for the school had been selected at South Kensington simply because it presented itself at the time, and because it presented itself at the time, and because the Admiralty were of opinion that it would be advisable on the score of economy to establish it there; but he did not mean to say that it should, therefore, be permanently fixed in that quarter. A very eligible site might pos- Sibyl hereafter be found at Greenwich, but he merely mentioned that to show tat the Admiralty had arrived at no positive conclusion as to where the institution should at a future time be located. He objected to the Motion of his hon. Friend because— while admitting freely the high scientific qualifications of Sir W. Snow Harris— he thought it would be introducing a novel system to print at the public expense a document containing simply the views of a private individual, however eminent, who was not a recognized authority on the subject treated of. If Sir W. Snow Harris's pamphlet were published, there was no reason why the opinions of the noble Lord the Member for Huntingdon, who had taken great pains to make himself acquainted with the subject of naval construction, and of other distinguished persons should not be published also.


said, he would take that occasion to call attention to the unsatisfactory mode in which the business of the House was being conducted, as if the voting away of the public money was only a matter of secondary importance. Night after night hon. Member had to remain until between eleven and twelve o'clock before the Government go into Committee of Supply, and then millions of money were voted away ultimately at hours when many Members had been obliged to leave the House. There were no less that twenty-two Motions on the paper to-night, on the Motion for going into Committee of Supply.


said, he regretted as much on his hon. Friend could do that such impediments should be cast in the way of the discussion of the Estimates, but the Government had no power to prevent it. It was quite natural that hon. Members should desire to call the attention of the House to subjects in which they felt an interest; but, considering the advanced period of the Session, and the great number of votes which remained to be taken, he trusted that they would exercise a little more forbearance as to putting down Motions on going into Supply.


said, he would suggest that Friday night should be given up to general discussions, and that for the remainder of the Session the House should go into Committee of Supply on Mondays and Thursdays without the interpositions of any other questions.

Question put, and agreed to.

Main Question put, and agreed to.

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