§ MR. BOUVERIE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether the "Ariadne" was provided with Clifford's safety falls for her quarter boats; and, whether these are supplied generally to Her Majesty's ships on service? He would beg to read the following statement:—On the morning of the 8th, the ship rolling very heavily, a man fell off the main topgallant yard, striking the topsail yard, and then overboard. We shortened sail, and lowered a boat, with 11 men and two officers in her. On account of the heavy sea she was nearly swamped under the stern, and the coxswain broke his right arm. They did not wait, but Jukes (sub-lieutenant) steered the boat. The boat was lowered about half-past 7, and at 9 we had drifted so far to leeward, she was out of sight. We then got up steam, and furled sails. About 10.30 we were close to her, to windward, and she was apparently all right; just then, however, a heavy sea struck the quarter, instantly swamping her. The next sea turned her right over, throwing everybody out of her, but most of the men got hold of her, bottom up, and the sea washing clean over them. We drifted down to within a couple of hundred yards of her, and then manned the second boat; in lowering her the after fall jammed, and in an instant the bow swung in against the ship's side and stove her in, throwing men and officers into the water. We managed to land them all in except one, who was crushed between the boat and the ship. Then there was a most awful sight. All the first boat's crew that were afloat had got separated, and were hanging on to oars and gratings, 599 &.c, except three who stuck to the boat. We had no other boat to lower, and I doubt if any would have lived in the sea that now got up. Out of the 11 men and two officers we only saved four men.
§ MR. SHAW LEFEVRE
Sir, in reply to my right hon. Friend, I have to state that the Ariadne was not supplied with Clifford's apparatus for lowering boats at sea. I am informed that there is a considerable difference of opinion among naval officers as to the comparative value of Clifford's apparatus and that known as Kynaston's invention for lowering boats at sea. The majority of naval officers are, I believe, not in favour of Clifford's apparatus, and the distinguished officers at the Admiralty whom I have consulted on this subject are averse to its use. The present orders of the Admiralty are, that all vessels are to be fitted with Kynaston's apparatus, unless special application is made by the commanding officer, in which case Clifford's apparatus is to be fitted.