HC Deb 12 September 1887 vol 321 cc265-6
CAPTAIN COLOMB&c.) (Tower Hamlets Bow,

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether there is any Hue of British steamers traversing the North Pacific Ocean which could furnish vessels fulfilling Admiralty conditions for "armed cruisers," of 16 knots seagoing speed; and, what steps are being taken to give effect to the policy of subvention, for the protection of the considerable British commerce in the North Pacific, so as to secure in peace the presence of fast merchant steamers, suitable and ready for conversion as "armed cruisers" in those waters on the outbreak of war?


I am not aware of the existence in the Pacific of any line of British steamers fulfilling the conditions prescribed by the Admiralty for the employment of merchant vessels as armed cruisers. The Admiralty cannot create a line of merchant steamers in any part of the world; but if a line of steamers be established which would be able to furnish the Admiralty with armed cruisers of the requisite speed, strength and coal endurance it would be the duty of the Admiralty to entertain, any propositions to that effect made to them.