HC Deb 26 May 1870 vol 201 cc1405-6

said, he wished to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty, If the survey of the anchors at the various Dockyards, with a view of setting aside for sale such as are unfit for the Service, has been completed; and, if so, if he will state to the House how many have been condemned in each Yard; also, if it is true that there are large quantities of useless anchors in the Foreign Yards?


Sir, in reply to my hon. Friend, I beg to say that Mr. Warren, one of the ablest officers in the service, has just completed a survey of the entire stock of anchors in the home yards. No fewer than 639 are reported obsolete and unserviceable, distributed as follows:—106 in Sheerness, 142 in; Devonport, 105 in Woolwich, 34 in Pembroke, 193 in Portsmouth, and 59 in Chatham. Many of these are not expected to realize more than the price of old iron, as nearly all have been lying in the dockyards for 30 years—some, indeed, for 50 years. In addition to the anchors thus condemned, it is proposed to sell 341 others, which, on account of their size and inferior pattern, will never be used by any of Her Majesty's ships. That will leave us with a stock of about 1,000, which, in the opinion of the Chief Constructor of the Navy and all concerned, is ample for all the requirements of the service for many years to come. It is true that there are also large quantities of anchors in the foreign yards, many of which, no doubt, are useless. At Malta there are 144, at the Cape of Good Hope 96, at Bermuda 117, at Jamaica 80, at Hong Kong 200, and so on. Steps are being taken to survey them, with a view of disposing of such as are not required.