§ ADMIRAL FIELD (Sussex, Eastbourne)
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have decided against any further trial of steel booms, as proposed by Mr. Bullivant, in lieu of wooden booms in connection with the net defence of ironclads against torpedoes; and, if this be so, whether the matter 710 can be re-considered, inasmuch as the trial asked for would be at the expense of the inventor, and with stronger booms; whether he is aware that naval opinion outside the Admiralty is strongly in favour of steel booms, as being at least five cwt. lighter, and superior in many other respects, besides being about one-third less costly than wooden ones; and, whether the Committee on Torpedo Net Defence have reported in favour of steel booms?
§ THE FIRST LORD (Lord GEORGE HAMILTON) (Middlesex, Ealing)
It is not proposed to carry out any further experiments with Mr. Bullivant's steel booms, as they were found to double up on the explosion of a torpedo, and could not be straightened with the ordinary resources of a ship, while wooden booms, if broken, can be easily replaced. Steel booms are also more liable to damage than wooden ones from accidental causes, such as are caused by lighters or tugs coming alongside. The Committee on Torpedo Net Defence recommended a trial of steel booms of a different pattern from those of Mr. Bullivant; but no decision will be come to until further trials of wooden booms have been carried out.
§ ADMIRAL FIELD
gave Notice that he would call further attention to this matter in Committee of Supply on the Navy Estimates.