§ SIR HENRY TYLER (Great Yarmouth)
asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether the 43-ton gun which failed on board H.M.S. Collingwood, was originally intended to bear a service charge of 400 lbs. of gunpowder; whether its service charge was afterwards reduced to 295 lbs.; whether it failed under a charge of 222 lbs.; and, whether he will refer the following questions to the Committee appointed to inquire into its failure, and report the result to the House:—What was, under the conditions of failure, the calculated bursting strain in tons per square inch of this gun; what was, similarly, the strain with the charge employed; what would have been the strain with a charge of 400 lbs.; what was the principle of increasing twist applied in the rifling of this gun; is that principle generally employed in guns now constructed for Her Majesty's Service; was that principle employed in the guns that burst on the Thunderer, and on the Active, as well as on the Collingwood; is it not possible that the shot may have jammed in the rifling in all these cases, and thus have caused the failures; and, would it not be better to abandon the principle of increasing twist?
THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN)&c.) (Stirling,
The gun referred to was not originally intended to bear a charge of 400 lbs. of gunpowder. Its service charge was determined on the introduction of cocoa powder to be 295 lbs., and it failed under a charge of 231¾ lbs.; having previously, as already stated in the House, been fired nine times with charges varying from 275 lbs. to 340 lbs. The remaining points in the hon. Member's Question are among those referred to the Special Committee which will report on the gun.
MR. CARBUTT&c.) (Monmouth,
asked, whether it was true that Colonel Maitland, in reading a paper on the design of this gun, stated that it was designed for a charge of 400 lbs.?