HC Deb 21 March 1870 vol 200 cc319-20

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?


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- 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.