asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, If it is true that Her Majesty's ship "Albatross," in the autumn of last year, was, shortly after her departure for foreign service, recalled to undergo extensive repairs; if he will state to the House the reason for and nature of those repairs, and the cost thereof; whether the state of the ship, which compelled her return, was due to bad workmanship in the dockyard, or to an original fault in construction; and, if the latter, who is responsible for that construction; whether it 1800 is usual in composite-built ships to use as an outer skin 2½ inches of soft porous wood; and, if any more ships have been or are being built of similar construction?
§ MR. HUNT
Sir, it is the case that the Albatross was recalled from foreign service as described by the hon. Gentleman. The repairs were required on account of an offensive smell arising about the after part of the ship. On examination, it was found that the cause of the evil was attributable partly to bad workmanship in the driving of some of the bolts of the ship, and partly to the employment of some coarse grained and porous elm planking, and the parties responsible have been duly censured by the Admiralty. The cost of the repairs amounted to £1,500. It is usual in composite ships to employ elm planking for a few streaks near the keel. A large number of composite ships have been built with outer planking of elm to the same extent as the Albatross, and several of them have served more than one commission without complaint.