HC Deb 06 May 1875 vol 224 cc161-2

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether, when Her Majesty's ship "Osborne," the yacht of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, was docked at Portsmouth on Monday last, it was discovered that a number of the sheets of copper had disappeared from her bottom; whether those sheets of copper had been nailed on with nails of a new description called "phosphor bronze," not quite six months ago; whether any others, and, if so, which others, of Her Majesty's ships have been similarly coppered, who invented this "phosphor bronze," and whether any gratuity has been awarded to the inventor; and, if so, what amount of gratuity; and, whether any steps will be promptly taken to place officers in command of any of Her Majesty's ships in which these "phosphor bronze" nails had been used on their guard against the danger to which their ships would be exposed through defects caused by the use of those nails?


in reply, said, that when Her Majesty's yacht Osborne was docked it was found that there were several sheets of copper off her. The copper had been fastened with a new description of nail recommended by a Committee of Admiralty officers as an experiment designed to check the occasional rapid local corrosion of the sheets of copper. The material was not "phosphor bronze." There had been no payment made on account of it as a gratuity to inventors. Several vessels had been wholly or partially sheathed with this description of nail when the failure of the nails became apparent, and orders were given in September last that all such vessels should be docked at the earliest opportunity, and that the sheathing should be re-nailed.