asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether his attention has been directed to a paragraph in "The Times" of the 29th ultimo, in which it is stated that experiments have boon recently made by the Officers of the Steam Reserve at Portsmouth with certain coals from the Monmouthshire collieries, and that they have been classified in a certain order of merit; whether the results therein set forth are correct; whether it is intended to carry through a series of analogous experiments upon the leading coals of the South Wales coal field; and, whether any notice of such intention has been or is to be given to the owners of steam coal collieries in South Wales?
§ MR. HUNT,
in reply, said, that until his attention was called to the paragraph in The Times of the 29th ult. he had not seen it. The Admiralty directed expected experiments to be made by the officers of the Steam Reserve at Portsmouth with certain coals from the Monmouthshire collieries for their own information, and with no intention of its reaching any newspaper, and how it got into that paper he did not know many days before the report reached him. He had no intention of instituting inquiries into the different collieries in Wales, the Admiralty being well aware of their quality. Whether the Report 1414 should have been produced by the Admiralty would have been a question for consideration; but as the statement that had been published was correct, it would be useless to withhold it, and if the hon. Member would move for it, it would be laid upon the Table.