§ SIR JOHN HAY
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether the "Prince Consort," on her recent examination, has shown any serious symptoms of decay; and, whether there is any apprehension that the "Ocean," "Royal Oak," "Caledonia," "Royal Alfred," and "Zealous" may also be equally defective?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
, in reply to "these very characteristic questions" of the hon. and gallant Member, stated that the Prince Consort was under survey at Devonport, but her exact condition had not been reported to him; it was known that her condition was not serious in the sense of being dangerous in any respect; but it was feared that the cost of the removal of her partially decayed timber would be heavy. As regards the other ships referred to, he must, for obvious reasons, decline to give any speculative opinion as to what their condition would be when they came into dock. He might mention, however, that the ships alluded to were wooden ships, which had been converted, about 10 or 11 years ago, into iron-clads. They had been built of wood and cased with iron, and such ships were more liable to decay than iron ships properly so-called.