HC Deb 23 February 1880 vol 250 c1196

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether H.M.S. ironclad "Wivern," ordered to China, is of a similar type to the "Neptune," late "Independencia," viz. a vessel with a poop and forecastle, and fitted with two turrets; whether H.M.S. "Wivern "is not comparatively for her size a more strongly built vessel than the "Neptune," late "Independencia," which broke her back in launching; whether the "Wivern's" armour is not equivalent to that of the "Huascar," and her armament more powerful; whether it was ever suggested to or in contemplation by the Admiralty to send out torpedo boats on the upper deck of the "Wivern;" and, whether the "Wivern" is not a safe and efficient vessel for such services as she was designed for?


Sir, theWivernhas, like theNeptune,two turrets and a poop and forecastle, but there does not appear to be any other similarity between them. TheWivernis not considered to be, comparatively for her size, a more strongly built vessel than theNeptune.The fact that theNeptunewas injured in launching is not considered to afford any evidence that she is not a strongly built ship. TheWivern'sarmour is at least equivalent to that of theHuascar,and her armament is more powerful, having two turrets instead of one. It was at one time suggested to the Admiralty to send out two second-class torpedo doats in theWivernto Hong Kong, not on the upper deck, but at the height of the hurricane deck. It is not considered that the safety of the ship would have been endangered, but it has been thought more desirable to send them out in another vessel. Considerable improvements have been effected in theWivern,and she is regarded as a safe and efficient vessel for the services for which she is designed.