HC Deb 10 August 1871 vol 208 cc1321-2

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether, considering the evidence given at the "Agincourt" Court Martial, it is his intention to make official inquiry into the conduct of the Admiral in command in giving sailing orders to the Fleet, which appear to have placed several of Her Majesty's Ships in danger?


The position of the matter at this moment is this—That although we have before us the evidence given before the Court Martial in the reports in newspapers, we have not as yet got the depositions which were taken at the trial, which extended over ten days. We are hurrying them on, and I believe that they will be in our hands to-morrow morning. Although the reports in the newspapers are no doubt correct, they do not contain the questions which were put, and we must not go by them. We must make no decision until we have before us the authentic depositions. The finding of the Court Martial was that the officers were guilty of negligence in the stranding of the Agincourt; but, looking at the attendant circumstances, they were only severely reprimanded. It will naturally be the duty of the Admiralty to investigate and determine by some means or other what those "attendant circumstances" are, and to take action upon them.