HC Deb 24 August 1886 vol 308 cc370-2
DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid)

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether it is a fact that, since the 29th of last month, 50 men have been discharged from the new dock works at Haulbowline; how many years the present works have been in progress; at what date the works were first sanctioned; when, or about what time, is there any reasonable expectation of the works being completed; whether the principal dock is proportionately adequate for the reception of any of the first, second, or even third class ships of war in the Royal Navy; for what particular class of vessels are the docks intended; whether stone cutters are obliged to be employed to re-cut stones which failed to fit after being landed at Haulbowline; and if so, who is to blame; whether the boats in use for the purpose of conveying the shore labourers to and from the works would be seaworthy in tempestuous weather; whether four shipwrights, who have been employed in keeping these boats in good repair, have received notice of discharge; whether the skilled labour of shipwrights is necessary for securing the safety of the men working beneath at the river entrance to the docks; whether they have been constantly employed in making and repairing the waggons in daily use; and, whether, bearing in mind the great depression, the times, and the cheapness of labour, the Admiralty will advocate the re-employment of the men discharged, and the pressing forward of the works to completion?


(who replied) said: Only four men have been discharged since July 29 from the dock works at Haulbowline. The present works have been 21 years in progress, having been sanctioned in 1865. They will be completed in 1888. The dock is adequate for the reception of the ships intended—namely, first-class ships of the Royal Navy, including the Inflexible. The stone in stock is cut to meet alterations in plan, not defects in stone delivered, and no blame attaches to anyone. The boats are maintained in good order for the service required. Of four shipwrights under notice of discharge only one was employed on these boats. Shipwrights are not required for securing the safety of the men working at the river entrance. They have not been constantly employed in making or repairing waggons, but may have occasionally so worked. The works are being completed as fast as the annual grant will allow; but as they are drawing to a close there is no other course open but gradually to discharge the workmen when they are no longer required.


asked if the discharge of the shipwrights was not constantly arising, and that they were men whose services were required to preserve the lives of the men engaged in the works?


said, only one shipwright was required for the boats. If any complaint could be brought and substantiated he would take care that it was attended to.


gave Notice that he should raise the question again upon the Estimates.