HC Deb 23 August 1883 vol 283 cc1724-5

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, If he will be good enough to inform the House whether the structural strength of the Ocean Cruiser "Iris," in framing, main, and shell plating, is more or less than that of vessels of similar size, and classed 100 A 1 in the Merchant Service, say of the White Star Line; and, if it be correct that her coal endurance is only equal to seven days in ordinary weather, whereas merchant ships of similar size and greater speed possess a coal endurance of over thirty days besides cargo?


Sir, in answering my hon. Friend's Question, it is important to explain that the displacement of the Iris is 3,700 tons, while that of the White Star Line is from 7,000 to 10,000 tons. Comparing the Iris with a merchant ship of the same size classed 100 A 1 at Lloyd's, the thickness of the frames and plates is less, and the frames are further apart, but the system of construction is different throughout. The Iris is a double ship from the keel to the tipper deck, heavily bulk headed, and framed to suit these conditions. That the Iris is a strong ship was proved conclusively by the small damage sustained when ashore at Port Agusta. The Iris has a bunker capacity for 39 days at full speed of 18 knots. Merchant steamers of similar speed but twice the size have coal capacity for seven to ten days. The long coal endurance referred to it in the Question is associated with much lower speed.