said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, If it is true that the designer of the Achilles was compelled by the Controller, against his judgment, to provide more masts than she was designed for; and, whether any notice was taken of the vehement protest of the designer on the Naval Committee ordering the Minotaur more masts than suited her form, or for which she was designed?
SIR JOHN HAY
, in reply, said, some misapprehension existed on the part of the hon. and gallant Member as to the form of the Return which was laid on the table some time ago with regard to this Question. Four out of five naval officers forming the Committee reported against the masting of the Achilles with four masts; but when the matter was brought before the Admiralty, it was unanimously resolved that the Controller should be ordered to give the Achilles four masts. The original design was for four masts, and it was laid down accordingly. This was complicated with another Question. That Committee recommended that double topsails should be adopted in that class of ship; finding that the area of canvas of three masts would not be sufficient, it was therefore considered desirable that four masts should be adopted to give a sufficient spread of canvas. With regard to the Minotaur, there was no protest on record at the Admiralty.