HC Deb 15 July 1872 vol 212 cc1137-8

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether instructions were not given that Her Majesty's ship "Euphrates," steam transport, was to have 400 tons of coal on board on her arrival at Portsmouth at the conclusion of her experimental voyage with invalids from Bombay to England round the Cape of Good Hope; whether, in order to comply with these instructions, the vessel had to take in coal at St. Vincent at a very high price; whether it is the case that deaths occurred on board at the rate of one in every two days during the voyage; and, whether he has any objection to lay upon the Table full particulars as to this experimental voyage, including any instructions as to coal?


confessed that he could see no connection between the two parts of the Question. The Euphrates went round the Cape as an experiment at the wish of the Government of India, who thought it would be for the advantage of the invalids that they should proceed round the Cape. With regard to the amount of coal, the captain was ordered to take in sufficient coal to enable him to keep 400 tons in store, so that in case of heavy weather the ship might at no time be too light, and those were the instructions which were usually given to these large troop-ships. The vessel, however, arrived with only 300 tons, instead of 400 as stated. The Euphrates brought home 664 invalids, and about 200 other passengers, and among the invalids there were 33 deaths, many of the invalids having gone on board in a very advanced state of disease.