HC Deb 05 March 1868 vol 190 cc1114-5

said, he would beg to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether he will lay upon the table of the House a Copy of the Proceedings and Report of the Admiralty Committee which, on the 5th August, 1867, he stated had been appointed to inquire into the management and expenditure of Greenwich Hospital; and, when the following Returns will be in the hands of Members:—1. Ships Sold, ordered 9th May, 1867, and presented 15th August, 1867; 2. Iron Ballast, ordered 7th May, 1867, and presented 15th August, 1867?


said, in the absence of his right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty, he had to state that there would be no objection on the part of the Admiralty to lay on the table a Copy of the Proceedings and Report of the Greenwich Hospital Committee when they received it. Since the inquiry was instituted the scope and tendency of it had been enlarged. The Committee were now considering their Report, and he had the authority of the Chairman, the Member for North Essex, for saying that they hoped to be able to conclude their labours in about ten days or a fortnight. With regard to the second part of the hon. Member's Question, the Return referred to was a most voluminous one, and had to be prepared by three different Departments of the Admiralty. Two of those Departments had done their part of the work, but that of the third, the Accountant General, was still unfinished, although many of the clerks had been obliged to work over hours to complete it; yet it was hoped that, in the space of about a week, that Return would also be in the hands of the hon. Gentleman. As to the Return relating to the Iron Ballast, when the hon. Member moved for it last year he had distinctly told him that there was no possible chance of its being in his hands till the middle or end of the Session of 1868. This Return was for all the Iron Ballast the property of the Crown, and therefore included all that was, not only in their various establishments at home and abroad, but also in the holds of all Her Majesty's Ships in commission; and he saw no reason now to qualify the statement which he had made to the hon. Mem- ber last year on that point, but the contrary, and he thought the hon. Gentleman would be extremely fortunate if the Return in question was in his hands before the present Session closed.