HC Deb 04 June 1888 vol 326 cc1017-8

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty, Whether the statement in The Times, of Tuesday, May 29, is correct, that instructions have been received at Sheerness Dockyard, for preparations to be made for building a fast cruiser, to be named the Barracouta, whose speed under forced draught is to be 16½ knots, and that six cruisers of the Barracouta type are also to be built for the Royal Navy during the present financial year; and, if so, where are these six ships mentioned in the Naval Estimates for 1888–9?


It is intended to lay down this year four ships of the Barracouta class, as described at pages 138 and 139 of the Navy Estimates, and at page 10 of my Memorandum which accompanied them. They are not called fast cruisers by the Admiralty, but are classed as third-class protected cruisers, and are intended to take the place of the present gun vessels. Two other vessels of a somewhat similar type, the Barham and Bellona, but with greater speed, are also included in this year's building programme, and are shown on pages 140 and 163 of the Estimates, and described on page 10 of my Memorandum. There has, in these respects, been no departure whatever from the programme of shipbuilding assented to by the Board of Admiralty last year, when my noble and gallant Friend was a Member of it.