HC Deb 20 June 1878 vol 240 c1879

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, If his attention has been recently called to the regulations under which Her Majesty's steam squadrons are sailed in "grand divisions" at a distance of about three cables' length apart; and, whether he contemplates making a departmental inquiry into the practice, for the purpose of lessening the risk of collisions similar to that which resulted in the loss of the "Vanguard" in a temporary fog?


Sir, there is no such order as sailing in grand divisions. The established order of sailing or steaming in squadrons in ordinary circumstances of cruising is in two columns, the columns being at least 10 cables apart, and the ships in column two or four cables apart, according as the Fleet is in open or close order. There is no intention of making a departmental inquiry into the subject.