§ MR. MELLOR
said, he wished to ask the First Lord of the Admiralty, If the following paragraph, recently inserted in one of the Country Newspapers, is correct—viz:—We have a curious little item of Dockyard news, the 'Mutine,' a wooden corvette pierced for seventeen guns, and described as in every way fit for service, was recently put up for sale by auction; the highest bidding was £6,000, but there was a reserve price put upon her of £8,600, and she was therefore bought in. It is now stated that the gentleman who offered £6,000 has obtained the ship, by private arrangement, for £4,500, not the mere hull and standing gear, be it remembered, but sails, spars, stores, engines, and, in fact, everything that was on board when she was paid off?
§ MR. BAXTER
replied that the statements made in the paragraph quoted from the country newspaper were entirely incorrect. The Mutine was not a vessel fit for the service; but had been pronounced by the officers specially responsible for those matters to be altogether unsuitable for modern warfare. She was put up at public auction in June, 1869, when £4,600 was the highest sum offered. In July a firm in the City made an offer of £6,000, conditional on a survey turning out satisfactory. In October, however, that firm wrote de- 320 clining the purchase, as they had had an unfavourable report. The ship was again put up to public auction in February, 1870, when the highest bid was £3,900, and she was again bought in. £4,500 was subsequently offered privately, and, on the recommendation of the professional officers, accepted.