HC Deb 23 June 1864 vol 176 cc151-2

said, he would beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War, What is the actual quantity of Gunpowder stored at Marchwood Magazine; and if he has the opinion of competent Military Officers as to the safety of Southampton in the event of an explosion of this Magazine?


in reply, said, the quantity of gunpowder at present stored at Marchwood was 50,000 tons. It was not stored in one magazine, but in seven distinct magazines, and the greatest quantity in any one of them was 28,000 barrels. Before the hon. Member gave notice of this question, inconsequence of some apprehension that existed in the minds of the people of Southampton, a Report was called for from Colonel Gordon, commanding the Engineers, the principal officer of artillery, and the storekeeper, with regard to the safety of the magazine, and they stated that they had examined it very minutely, and they were of opinion there was no place in which powder might be stored with greater safety than at Marchwood. It was a mile and a half from Southampton, in a district not very densely populated. There were no houses near it except those occupied by government officials. The most stringent regulations were in force; they were far more strict than those applying to private magazines; and from the position of the magazines and the excellent manner in which they were managed, he thought that there was no reason to apprehend any danger.