HC Deb 16 March 1871 vol 205 cc54-5

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, If he will state the date when the "Megæra" was built; when she was last employed in carrying troops, and the number carried upon each occasion; also whether, as seemed to be implied in the statement of the honourable Member for Montrose, she carried four hundred tons of stores at the same time she conveyed troops; with what description of stores she was laden when she lately sailed from Devonport; who is responsible for the defective state of her port-linings, which caused her decks to be flooded, and compelled her to put back into Queenstown; and, whether he will lay upon the Table the entire Despatch from Admiral Forbes, of which only extracts were quoted in reply to the question of the honourable Member for Carlow?


Sir, the Megœra was built in May 1849, and has just been reported upon as being "sound and strong." When employed as a troopship up to 1863 she accommodated about 22 officers, 425 men, 26 women, and 56 children, in addition to her crew, consisting of 115 officers and men; but at such times she carried no stores as cargo. Last year she conveyed from Malta to England 270 naval and military passengers, being invalids and time-expired men, in addition to her crew of 92; and carried, at the same time, 337 tons of stores. In 1868 she conveyed from England to Rio and Ascension 478 tons of cargo and 114 naval passengers, in addition to her crew of about 115 persons. The description of stores with which she was laden before leaving Sheerness consisted of naval stores, such as cordage, sails, &c., as well as Navy provisions about 45 tons, and clothing 11 tons. On the point of the responsibility of the officers, I will reply to-morrow in answering the Question of the hon. Member for Wexford. I am prepared to lay a Copy of the Report of Admiral Forbes on the Table of the House.