HC Deb 04 April 1889 vol 334 cc1565-6

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether his attention had been specially called to the following facts: That H. M. S. Briton was completed at an original cost of £66,726; that, up to the 31st March 1886, the further expenditure for repairs upon this ship was £50,189; that, between the 30th September 1886 and the 2nd February 1887, an additional sum of £1,745 was expended in repairing the ship; and that, finally, the ship was sold in August 1887 for £3,541; and, whether he would explain under what circumstances a large expenditure was incurred for repairs within 12 months of the sale of the ship?


With the exception that £11,500 out of the £50,189 was for stores, and not for repairs, the facts are generally as stated in the question. The ship was originally commissioned in 1871, and had been at the time of her sale actually in commission for 11 years and nine months. The question of the expediency of spending the £1,745 on the repairs of a ship within so short a period of her being sold was very fully discussed, and it was only after careful consideration of the duties required by the exigencies of the service on the East Indies Station, especially with regard to the suppression of slavery in the Persian Gulf and East Coast of Africa, that it was decided to spend this sum in preference to letting her lay up in a perfectly useless condition for some months. She was sold mainly because she was hopelessly infected with white ants.

MR. HOWELL (Bethnal Green, N. E.)

In what way was this ship sold? Was it by public auction or private contract?


I think she was sold by public auction, but I would again ask that a question of that kind should be put on the Paper.