HC Deb 14 March 1882 vol 267 c888

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, What is the present strength of our Channel Squadron; if he could state, without detriment to the Public Service, for what duties it is intended; and, what opportunities are now given to Naval Officers, and especially to Flag Officers, to perfect themselves in the art of manœuvring Fleets?


Three ships of the Channel Squadron are now cruising in the western part of the Mediterranean. The object of their cruise is to teach their seamen to work aloft, and, as far as it can be done with three ships, to practise the officers in manœuvring. The Minotaur will be commissioned in a fortnight for the flag of the Vice Admiral in command. The Sultan will be added to the Squadron next month, and it is hoped that on the return of the Detached Squadron from China in August next, the Inconstant will be attached to the Channel Squadron to complete her commission, making six large ships in all, carrying 4,200 officers and men. With regard to the last part of the hon. and gallant Member's Question, I have something to say on the opportunities to officers for practising manœuvring in the Statement on introducing the Estimates. Perhaps he will excuse me if I reserve it till then.