HC Deb 17 March 1887 vol 312 cc555-7

The now programme of works proposed for 1887–88 includes the following:—

20-knot steel-bottomed protected cruisers, at Chatham 2
19¾-knot copper-bottomed protected cruisers, 2 by contract and 1 at Portsmouth 3
Composite sloop ("Buzzard") 1
Composite gun-boats (improved "Rattlers") 6
"Grasshopper" class 1

Of the "Rattlers" it need merely be said that they differ from the "Rattler" herself only in having a poop, being about 1 foot broader, and of about 40 tons greater displacement. The steam trials of "Rattler" and "Wasp" have been very satisfactory, speeds of 13½ to 13¾ knots having been attained.

The new "Buzzards" are "repeats" of the "Buzzard" now building at Sheerness—speed on the measured mile, 15 knots.

Both the "Rattlers" and "Buzzards" have a fair amount of sail, and coppered bottoms. Rattlers have single screws; Buzzards twin screws.

To the ships included in the above programme should be added the "Daphne," composite sloop of the "Buzzard" class, which, although not forming part of the programme in the Estimates of 1886–87, has been already commenced at Sheerness. The preparations made in 1886–87, though involving small expense, will enable the work to be pushed on rapidly in 1887–88.