§ MR. LAIRD
said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether, in order to test more fully the new principle of shipbuilding introduced by the late Board of Admiralty (and adopted in Her Majesty's ship Bellerophon), and to compare the results with those obtained on the trials at deep-load draught of Her Majesty's ships Warrior, Achilles, and other vessels constructed on the principles usually adopted in Her Majesty's Service, it is the intention of the present Board, before proceeding further with the construction of vessels on such new principle, to test the speed of Her Majesty's ship Bellerophon at the measured mile, and at sea, at deep-load draught, with all her weights on board, including armament and full complement of coals and stores, and if the armament is not ready, with an equivalent weight put on board to represent such armament, as has been done in the trials of other ships in Her Majesty's Service?
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
Sir, it is intended in a very few days, as soon as ever the Bellerophon is ready, to give her a fair trial over the measured mile, when every one of the conditions mentioned by my hon. Friend will be carried out. I will only add, in reference to the new principle of building to which he refers, that the Admiralty will not fail to avail themselves of any suggestions which the trial may present.
§ MR. GRAVES
said, he wished to ask why the Bellerophon, commissioned 22nd of March last, has not been sent to cruise with the Channel squadron now at sea; and, if in consequence of her not being ready, what is the cause of delay?
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
The Bellerophon has been at sea twice for several days. She went out first with the view of trying her powers under canvas, and a second time for the purpose of trying the experimental guns. The real cause of the delay in her not joining the Channel squa- 2039 dron, which it is intended she should join, is that her armament was not completed. But should the armament not be ready sufficiently soon she can put to sea with her present guns, and such additional weight as may place her in the same trim as if her proper guns were on board.