HC Deb 20 July 1871 vol 208 cc52-3

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether his attention has been called to a statement alleged to have been made, that Sir Spencer Robinson concurred in an opinion expressed that the work in one of the Royal Dockyards was done in a wasteful and imperfect manner; and, if such statement has been made, whether he is aware that there was any foundation for it?


I think, Sir, the misapprehension has been caused by the ommission of several sentences in the report of the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln (Mr. Seely). Sir Spencer Robinson was sorry to see that he had been apparently misrepresented as having made the statement referred to in the hon. Gentleman's question, and accordingly he wrote the following letter to Captain Hall, formerly Superintendent of Pembroke Dockyard, and now Third Lord of the Admiralty:— I observe that Mr. Seely refers to some observations of the Member for Merthyr respecting the idling of artificers at Pembroke. I remember the statement being made and an inquiry following, when the story was completely and absolutely disproved. I need hardly add that while I was at the Admiralty, I may say all the time that you was at Pembroke Dockyard, neither idleness nor waste of money for which you were in any way responsible took place at that Dockyard. Pembroke yard was remarkable for good and economical work, and for the great and unwearied exertions made by yourself to promote the public service in every way. It is due to you that I, who was in a position to know the facts, should state this much. It would be most pleasing to me if it were possible for Mr. Goschen to make this statement in the House of Commons.