HC Deb 30 March 1885 vol 296 c981

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty, If the 180 steam launches and pinnaces fitted with Whitehead torpedoes, and the 170 launches fitted with the spar torpedoes, are in addition to the boats of that character belonging to Her Majesty's Ships; how many of them are available for the defence of our Home mercantile ports, and are to be stationed there; and, how many Whitehead torpedoes have been actually supplied for the 180 steam launches?


All launches and pinnaces are adapted for tiring Whitehead torpedoes, and are fitted, or could be fitted, for the purpose in a short time. We have about 250 launches and pinnaces. Eighty-five are appropriated to sea-going ships, of which a certain number must always be in harbour. The remaining boats would be available for the defence of the ports. We have upwards of 170 cutters fitted for the spar torpedoes. The cutters appropriated to sea-going ships are about two-thirds of the total number. All the sea-going ships on foreign stations are supplied with their proper establishment of torpedoes. This includes the supply for their boats. I must decline to give any information as to the means which have been prepared for the defence of the Home ports.