HC Deb 10 June 1881 vol 262 cc232-3

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, Whether it has come to the knowledge of the Admiralty that the troop ship "Nemesis "broke down between this Country and the Cape upon several occasions, one of which was when crossing "the line," that her boilers were in an unsafe condition, that her fittings were rotten, that she ran short of provisions and water, and that, so great were the inconveniences and privations on board, that the troops eventually had to be transferred to the "Calabria" to finish the voyage?


Sir, no Report has been received from the Consul at St. Vincent. There is no doubt, as I stated a month ago, that the Nemesis made an unsuccessful voyage. As far as the ship herself is concerned, there is no stronger merchant ship afloat; but the repairs done to her boilers by the owners were apparently defective, and the boilers leaked when the voyage was about half through. The fittings were new, and precisely the same as were supplied by the Transport Department to all the other transports. She was victualled for 50 days, in addition to having seven or eight days' fresh provisions on board. No Report has been received from the commander of the vessel or the commander of the troops that provisions and water had run short; and it is unlikely that there should be scarcity of water, because the ship put into Madeira before should have run short. It was not in consequence of inconvenience or privation that the troops were transferred to the Calabria, because no Report of that kind had been received; but the order was sent out from the Admiralty in consequence of the ship having made such a bad passage owing to the leakage in her boilers. Pains had been taken to ascertain that there were no defects in the vessel before she started; and the defect was of a kind that could not be ascertained.


asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether he can state to the House the exact number of horses that died on board the "Nemesis," and also on board the other vessels that conveyed cavalry to the Cape?


In reply to the noble Lord, I have to state that the number of horses that died in the Nemesis was 39, and in the other vessels 51, including two mules.