HC Deb 05 August 1871 vol 208 c928

begged, in consequence of the declarations he had seen in the morning papers, to ask a Question of his right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether it is true that, after he had been warned by a Question put to him by the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Mr. F. Walpole), with regard to a Report alleged to have been made by Mr. Reed on the state of the "Megæra," he had allowed that vessel to sail, without taking steps to obtain information from Mr. Reed himself as to the survey?


No, Sir, the statement is not true that the Question was put to me by the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Mr. F. Walpole) before the Megæra sailed. It was put a week after the ship had sailed, and then it was impossible for me to have prevented the sailing of the vessel by personal reference to Mr. Reed. I do not wish to add anything to forestall the statement it will be my duty to make in answer to the Question of which Notice has been given for Monday. But, meanwhile, I leave the House and the public to judge of the candour of the criticism that is made in advance, without the circumstances being known, from the fact that already it has been insinuated that, by personal reference to Mr. Reed, I might have prevented the sailing of the ship, when, in point of fact, my attention was not called to there having been any Report by Mr. Reed till the week after the sailing of the ship.