HC Deb 03 August 1866 vol 184 cc2036-7

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, What steps, if any, the Board intend taking with reference to the six wooden Vessels set forth in Return No. 366 of Session 1865 (Vessels not armour-plated), as building on the same lines and dimensions as the Amazon—namely, the Niobe, Vestal, Blanche, Nymph, Daphne, and Dryad, to improve their strength, speed, and general efficiency for the purposes for which this class of Vessel was originally intended; and whether it will not be desirable to test the speed and qualities of one of these Vessels at sea, under canvas as well as under steam, before proceeding further with the completion of the others?


I beg, Sir, in the first place, to say that there are seven of these vessels remaining to be built and not six, as given in the list contained in my hon. Friend's Question. He has omitted the Sappho. The Admiralty are now very anxiously engaged in considering whether the peculiar bow of the Amazon is or is not of a shape which it is desirable to retain. Our present impression is that the bow is not successful, and that it would be well to effect a change. The Niobe, the Vestal, the Nymph, and the Daphne, are so far advanced that it would require a considerable outlay to have to alter their bows. The Admiralty are now making inquiries as to cost and time, which may decide whether they will deem it desirable to make the change or not. This answer does not apply to the remaining vessels, which are in a less advanced state, and it is the intention of the Admiralty to make considerable changes in the bows of those three vessels.