HC Deb 19 March 1866 vol 182 cc490-1

said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, Whether it is true that a temporary addition has been made to the length of the funnel of the Bellerophon or any other of Her Majesty's ships, with the object of forcing her to greater speed during her trial at the measured mile than she could attain under ordinary circumstances? He desired, he said, to make a few explanatory remarks. He would be extremely sorry to ask any question which implied a suspicion of anything like unfair conduct without good reason for so doing. Since he gave notice of this Question, however, he felt bound to state that he had been satisfied that it was customary to make an addition to the length of the funnels of ships in order to ascertain at what speed they could be propelled. Under these circumstances, he should leave his noble Friend to give what explanation he desired.


said, in reply, that the lengthening of the funnels of vessels was a common practice while under trials, and that it had nothing whatever to do with their structure. Messrs. Penn, the makers of the engines of the Bellerophon, made the addition to her funnel without asking the permission of the Admiralty; and on being asked their reason for so doing they replied that they thought it would be interesting to know whether they could obtain a better draught by adding to the length of the funnel. He might tell his right hon. Friend that the Warrior, the right hon. Baronet's own ship, was treated in the same way.