§ MR. FINIGAN
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether he has seen a statement in the "Daily Chronicle" of the 7th inst. to the following effect:—Early yesterday morning an Irish lad, named Michael Reardon, jumped overboard from Her Majesty's ship 'Ganges,' and was drowned. Reardon was a fine young fellow, over 5ft. 6in. in height. At the time of his committing the rash act he was under arrest for desertion, he having ran away on Sunday, and been captured on Tuesday, and taken back to the 'Ganges.' It is stated that, having previously deserted, he feared he would be punished by flogging, and expressed to a companion his determination to drown himself rather than submit to the degradation;and, whether he will consider the propriety of limiting the punishment of flogging in the Navy to the same class of offences to which it has been recently limited in the Army?
§ MR. BLAKE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, If it is true that an Irish boy named Michael Reardon a few days ago, deserted from a training ship at 503 Falmouth; that he was captured, brought back to the ship, and placed under arrest, but managed to elude the sentry yesterday morning, and, leaping overboard, drowned himself; if it be true that he said a day or two ago to a shipmate that, rather than suffer the punishment of flogging, he would drown himself, and has now done so; if he can state the number of desertions from training ships during the last three years, and also the number of boys who have been flogged during the same period with the birch, cane, or otherwise; and, if it be true that the boys are tied up while undergoing such punishment?
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
I only received information of the circumstances to which the Question of the hon. Gentlemen refer by the Notices they placed on the Paper. I have no information whatever on, the subject, and therefore am not in a position to answer the Question of either hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
I should be extremely glad to give the information to the hon. Member; but it is only about two hours ago since I saw the Notice, and I am sorry to say I cannot give him any information on the subject at present.